How to Change Mouse Cursor on Ubuntu

Here’s a quick tutorial. How to change the cursor theme in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (and higher) AndHow to install cursor themes that are available for download from sites such as Github and GNOME Look

Next, I will list a few third-party cursor set I think look good to help you put the information to good uses. Dope on the ‘buntu desktop — but feel free to ignore these and use something else!

Although this guide is intended for Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and above, the steps I outline here should be applicable to older versions of Ubuntu.

Let’s get into it!

How to change the Ubuntu Cursor Theme

gnome tweaks screenshot
GNOME Tweaks are indispensable

Ubuntu’s GNOME Tweaks tool makes it easy to change the cursor theme.

GNOME Tweaks are installed by using the Ubuntu Software app (just search for ‘GNOME Tweaks’ and hit ‘Install’ on the result) or by running sudo apt-install gnome_tweaksFrom the command line

Once installed, you will be able to open GNOME Tweaks. Appearance section from left-hand sidebar. The section from the left-hand sidebar. Appearance panel that appears on the right you just need to click on the menu picker beside the ‘cursor’ option (it’ll read ‘Yaru’ by default) and select from the cursor themes installed on your system.

You’ll quickly discover that Ubuntu doesn’t ship with many pointer packs out of the box. However, you can download and install more cursor themes locally from the internet. They’ll then be available to select from GNOME Tweaks.

How to install Cursor Themes in Ubuntu

It's easy to install cursor themes on ubuntu
It’s easy to install cursor themes

Ubuntu’s default set of pointers isn’t exactly wild. So, for more choice, you’ll want to seek out some third-party sets yourself.

Typically, third-party pointer packages are downloaded as a compressed archive. .zipOr .tar.gz. Right-click on these in Ubuntu’s default file manager NautilusChoose and make your choice “Extract Here” to ‘unpack’ them.

Then, you can install them.

How? Just move, cut, or copy the ‘source’ folder for the cursor theme you want to install — this will be a folder will several files inside, including one named cursor.theme — to the (hidden) .iconsDirectory in your ~/HomeFolder

If you are interested in the .icons folder is not present on your system (And it isn’t included in Ubuntu by default, so this is likely) you can go ahead and create a new folder and name it — just remember to use all lowercase letters for ‘icons’ andInclude the preceding . character.

Remember to press ctrl + hTo view hidden files/folders in Nautilus press again to rehide

Any cursor themes placed inside the .iconsThe folder will be displayed in the cursor theme selector in GNOMETweaks. However, you will need to close the app and reopen it if you add a new theme while the utility remains open.

3 Cool Ubuntu Cursor Themes

bibata cursors
Choose one: Bibata

Bibata is a modern “material design” inspired pointer pack for Linux (and Windows). It’s available in a variety of flavours, including an ‘ice’ variant.

Nord colour cursors for linux
Pick two: Nordzy

NordLike DraculaThe popular color scheme for a wall is, NordzyThis is a classic cursor theme that will complement desktops with the Nord theme.

a screenshot of the arc midnight cursor set for linux
Pick 3: ArcMidnight

ArcMidnightThe thick black border around each symbol gives each item a distinct look. It is a stylized set of pointers. These are great for desktops with a strong, confident appearance.

Summary

I shared how to change the cursor theme in Ubuntu (use Google Tweaks), how install third-party themes (unzip them and save them to /.icons), along with a few pointer packages that offer a more stylised version of the default Yaru pointer package.

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