Ubuntu: Mouse cursor turned into a “thick plus”, cannot click but mouse can move



Question:

I have Ubuntu 16.04. The last thing I remember typing into the terminal was import python This was done by mistake and I Ctrl+Z after to end that process. I had pip uninstall monary maybe before that.

But right now, the mouse is stuck as a plus (imagine a plus made of corners of 4 adjacent squares with very slight space in between). It can't click, though the cursor can move anywhere in the screen. I even tried an external mouse but the result is the same.

I am planning to restart my computer and it might solve the issue. But, I want to know what caused this, and if it happens again what should I do?


Solution:1

import is the command to create a screenshot, provided by the ImageMagick tool suite.

When you run

import something  

as shell command, it will show you a crosshair cursor to select a rectangular area of the screen for capturing, and then save that as file something.

Now you pressed Ctrl+Z, which is the shortcut for freezing a process and returning to the command prompt in Bash. So import is still "running" (not exactly - it's frozen, but still existing) and didn't get a chance to exit or return control over the mouse and screen.

You have to continue the import process by e.g. thawing it and getting it back to the foreground of the shell using the fg Bash command. It will probably exit immediately then, otherwise you can terminate it with Ctrl+C.

Alternatively, you could also just kill the process by closing the parent terminal window/Bash session or using a command like killall -KILL import.


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