Installing Mouse cursor themes

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If your system uses XFree86 4.3.0 or higher and you want to use a snazzy
alpha-channeled mouse cursor theme, here's how you do it:

1. Create a directory in your home called .icons. This is the directory defined
by the standards as the place for user-defined icon themes.

2. Place the cursor theme directory into ~/.icons. The directory should have
the form ~/.icons/THEME_NAME/cursors.

3. With either gconftool or gconf-editor, set the value of
/desktop/gnome/peripherals/mouse/cursor_theme to the name of the new theme.

4. If you use another window manager or desktop environment, you can also place
a line like this in ~/.Xdefaults:


or you can set the XCURSOR_THEME environment variable in your startup scripts.

You can find cursor themes at the following addresses:


There currently isn't a cursor category on, but I'm sure there
will be soon!

My personal favourite is the one created by jimmac, which can be found at

source :

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this may be a easier way

create directory ~/.icons/default
please index.theme in default dir
create directory ~/.icons/default/cursors
place cursors in there

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  • 2 weeks later...

thank you. now I gots spiffy cursors. :)

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anytime ;p ill try to post up some more nifty how-to's for general purpose use as i come by them :)

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  • 2 years later...

Thank you so much! I've spent the greater part of two days searching for a method of installing cursor sets that would work, and tried probably eight or nine different ones, and untold variations of each of those, with no luck at all.

By putting my cursor set in the ~.Xdefault directory as you told how to do, I now am able to use my new cursors. I can sleep better tonight (no exaggeration).

I know this is about two years after the original post, but I just needed to say thanks anyway.

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You can also convert stardock cursor xp cursors with image magic. There is a tutoral in oreilly's "Linux Hacks" book.

Desktop Hacks

Cursor XP

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