Jiff Slater
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28 Jul 2021

Changing the default X11 Cursor
16 December 2008

Very trivial.

Unpack your cursor package to ~/.icons/.

The directory structure should be:


Create a symbolic link between ~/.icons/default and the theme_name and restart X.

ln -s ~/.icons/theme_name ~/.icons/default

If you have any issues, remove the symbolic link:

rm ~/.icons/default

create a ~/.icons/default directory

mkdir ~/.icons/default

and insert the following file (index.theme) into the ~/.icons/default directory:

touch ~/.icons/default/index.theme
vi ~/.icons/default/index.theme
   1 [Icon Theme]
   2 Inherit=theme_name

Done; easy.

Changing The Default X Cursor
7 July 2008

Although it took me ages to find out how to change the default X cursor the solution is simple.

1. Install the icon/cursor theme using your default package manager (or extract it to /usr/share/icons)

2. List the contents of your /usr/share/icons directory

~ %  ls /usr/share/icons [truncated output]

Chameleon-Anthracite-Large/    Chameleon-Anthracite-Small/ 
HighContrastLargePrint/         LowContrastLargePrint/  gnome/

3. Copy the name of the cursor theme you want (in this case Chameleon-Anthracite-Large)

4. Add the name of theme to ~/.icons/default/index.theme

~ %  vim ~/.icons/default/index.theme
1 [Icon Theme]
2 Inherits=Chameleon-Anthracite-Large

5. Restart the X server

Note: The number next to “[Icon Theme]” and “Inherits” is part of the Vim display (use :set nonumber to get rid of it).  Do not add it to the file.

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