Ubuntu: How to change mouse cursor and theme?


How can I change X11 cursor and theme in the newest Ubuntu? I can't find it. Please help.


In order to get your custom cursor to work with all applications do:

  1. Download a cursor theme.
  2. Open Gnome Tweak Tool and change the cursor theme.
  3. Open a Terminal.
  4. Run this command:

    sudo update-alternatives --config x-cursor-theme  
  5. Select the number corresponding to your choice
  6. Log out.
  7. Log back in.

You can see a video tutorial on YouTube.


Maybe its too late for reply, but i faced a problem using this in 12.04. If you download a Cursor theme and extract it to /usr/share/icons/, make sure change its permission to 755:

chmod -R 755 cursors/  

and change the Cursor theme in /usr/share/icons/default/index.theme to your theme.

then apply instruction described by suli8


The easiest way to do that is to use the gnome-tweak-tool Install gnome-tweak-tool. It is in the Software Center. But due to some dependencies it will install gnome-shell in addition.

When you've installed gnome-tweak-tool, seek for this via dash as "Advanced Settings" With this you can change to your desired themes and perhaps x11-cursor. But for me the alternative x11-cursor themes are working only for applications like LibreOffice or Firefox.

In addition in System Settings you can find the entry "Appearance" where you can choose the official Ambiance and Radiance theme and HighContrast and HighContrastInverse and if installed Adwaita. This is only a little theme changer. The way more powerful gnome-tweak-tool lets you select all the other gtk3-themes, icons, fonts, cursors, gnome-shell-themes and extensions and the behavior of nautilus handling the desktop.


It is quite easy to change the cursor in Unity.

  1. Open a Terminal.
  2. Type in these commands:

    sudo apt-get install gnome-tweak-tool  sudo apt-get install oxygen-cursor-theme  sudo apt-get install oxygen-cursor-theme-extra  
  3. Select a new cursor theme from the Tweak Tool.

  4. Run this command:

    sudo update-alternatives --config x-cursor-theme  
  5. Press Alt+F2, type this then press Enter:

    compiz --replace  

(Alternatively reboot if compiz --replace doesn't work)


(I think when I read it first I thought you meant in and X11 desktop, like Lubuntu. Sorry if it doesn't help. I don't see how to delete.)

There is 2 ways I have found to do this in Lubuntu. Find a desired curser theme, and hopefully it will give you the terminal command, like sudo apt-get install oxygen-cursor-theme oxygen-cursor-theme-extra. Then go to the menu, to Preferences > Customize Look and Feel and it will be installed. Then you select and apply and you have it.

The other is go to Gnome Look or a site similar and they have a X11 Mouse Cursor section. Just find one you like, download the tar.bz2 file. The go back to where you select your cursor and click install, navigate to where you downloaded it to and then install it. For me, I don't know if it is a bug, the way it is designed or if I'm doing something thing wrong but the program closes after I install it. I just re-open it and select the newly installed cursor and it will be.


What I did:

  1. Installed cursor theme to /usr/share/icons
  2. Edited /usr/share/icons/default/index.theme and set Inherits=MyThemeName
  3. Used Unity Tweak Tool to set a new cursor theme
  4. Rebooted, don't know why :)

Works for me.


After struggling for 2 years to get themes to work across all windows and applications on 12.04, the following is what I had to do:

  • Download theme from internet
  • Extract it into /usr/share/icons
  • Then I changed the permissions of the theme:

    chmod 777 ComixCursors-White-Small   

    // or

    chmod uqo+wrx ComixCursors-White-Small  
  • Download Gnome Tweak Tool from Software Center

  • Launch it, go to theme and select your theme e.g. ComixCursors-White-Small
  • then as sudo user open the index.theme file:

    sudo vim /usr/share/icons/default/index.theme  
  • Then change the contents accordingly:

    [Icon Theme]  Inherits=ComixCursors-White-Small  
  • Then reboot the system:

    sudo reboot  

And once system reboots, the theme will take effect.


gnome-tweak-tool can help with this.


After change cursor.theme file of your theme (I use the theme OpenZone_Black)

[Icon Theme] Inherits=OpenZone_Black      

Sometimes you need install you theme so that you can choose it in alternative x-cursor-theme:

  1. record your theme

  2. add to alternative x-cursor-theme:

    sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/share/icons/default/index.theme x-cursor-theme /usr/share/icons/$CURSOR/cursor.theme 20  

Then change theme use the following command:

 sudo update-alternatives --config x-cursor-theme  

Note:If u also have question or solution just comment us below or mail us on toontricks1994@gmail.com
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