[Xmonad] incorrect mouse cursor in some apps

Brandon S. Allbery KF8NH allbery at ece.cmu.edu
Fri Oct 26 21:06:02 EDT 2007

On Oct 26, 2007, at 12:50 , Andrew Sackville-West wrote:

> the problem: some apps, a blank workspace and the border around
> windows all show the default "X" mouse cursor. This shows up in a
> variety of apps: gnucash, xpdf, xvidtune*, Xdialog**. There are  
> probably
> others, but I haven't gone through the whole list. Other apps work
> just fine: urxvt and other terminals show the usual text-insertion
> cursor. firefox/iceweasel show an arrow or insertion cursor as
> expected and so forth.

X11 windows (the low-level window object, as opposed to what most  
people (and window managers) consider a window; many (but not all) of  
the visible widgets in a GUI application are independent windows) can  
have a cursor associated with them, or otherwise inherit the one set  
on the parent window.  Thus, most applications will not set a cursor  
at all, or only do so on special widgets (e.g. Xaw scrollbars get the  
bidirectional arrow cursor).

Problem is, the default X11 root window cursor is a big ugly X, not a  
pointer like most people (and applications!) expect.  Integrated  
desktop systems install a default pointer cursor, but simple window  
managers (not just xmonad but also things like twm) don't.  As noted,  
this is easy to fix with xsetroot, but it remains an unfortunate  
default.  (Hm.  Someone should petition x.org to change the default  
root cursor....)

brandon s. allbery [solaris,freebsd,perl,pugs,haskell] allbery at kf8nh.com
system administrator [openafs,heimdal,too many hats] allbery at ece.cmu.edu
electrical and computer engineering, carnegie mellon university    KF8NH

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