KDE 4 doesn't respect X11 cursor themes

Bug #288502 reported by Jared Sutton
This bug affects 31 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
kde-workspace (Debian)
kde-workspace (Ubuntu)
Harald Sitter

Bug Description

Before I start, it should be noted that I'm using the latest Kubuntu Intrepid packages.

After downloading an X11 mouse theme from kde-look.org, I proceeded to install it in system-settings. After installing the theme (bluecurve), I found that only the main pointer and the background-busy cursors from the theme were being used in KDE applications (GTK-based apps like Firefox seem to respect the rest of the cursors just fine). Things like the busy cursor, text select, hand pointer (for hyperlinks and such), and window-resizing cursors all appeared to be displayed using Oxygen counterparts when using KDE 4 applications.

I even went to the extreme of hacking kdm.conf and it's init.d script to force X11 to use my chosen theme (by exporting XCURSOR_THEME), but even in KDM, some of the Oxygen cursors persisted.

I've tried with several different themes from kde-look.org, all with similar results. The only theme I've found to use all of it's own cursors with all applications (KDE 4 and GTK apps) is the "KDE Classic" theme.

Attached is a screenshot showing the system-settings window and that it doesn't show all of the correct mouse cursors for the "Bluecurve" theme even in the preview area.

Revision history for this message
Jared Sutton (jpsutton) wrote :
description: updated
Revision history for this message
Marián Kadaňka (marian.kadanka) wrote :

I confirm this one. Running Kubuntu 9.04 alpha 6, it's exactly the same behaviour as described above. Please fix this annoying bug!

Changed in kdebase-workspace:
status: New → Confirmed
Revision history for this message
Tuomas Hämäläinen (tuomas-83-hamalainen) wrote :

Also happening here with a fresh install of Kubuntu 9.04 and KDE 4.22. Even the cursor themes installed by default don't work, the only one that doesn't get half its icons overwritten with Oxygen is the KDE classic theme from KDE 2 and 3. I agree with the previous poster, this is pretty annoying.

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MadAGu (madagu) wrote :

I also confirm this one. Running Kubuntu 9.04 with KDE 4.3 RC2. Surely it is nothing too serious but it is pretty annoying..

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Lars Karlsson (mintlars) wrote :

It's not really serious, but gives a bad user-experience for sure. Should have a higher priority for that reason. We don't want our users to experience KDE as the DE where you can't choose how your cursors will look like, right?

Changed in kdebase-workspace (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Low
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MadAGu (madagu) wrote :

So? Any updates about this bug?

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Marián Kadaňka (marian.kadanka) wrote :

Problem is still there.
Tested on new install of Kubuntu 9.10 in VMware virtual machine and on Kubuntu 9.10 live CD on real machine with Nvidia graphic card.

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Sam Rog (samrog131) wrote :

Kubuntu Karmic Koala (9.10)
Qt: 4.5.2
KDE: 4.3.2 (KDE 4.3.2)


Kubuntu Lucid Lynx (10.04) Alpha 1
Qt: 4.6.0
KDE Development Platform: 4.3.85 (KDE 4.3.85 (KDE 4.4 Beta2))

Both have this bug.

A workaround is to rename (disable) the /usr/share/icons/default/index.theme. Then the KDE Classic is the default theme. Bug - https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/kde4libs/+bug/305201

Then it is possible to use the Bluecurve icon theme (at here).

Changed in kdebase-workspace (Ubuntu):
assignee: nobody → Harald Sitter (apachelogger)
Revision history for this message
varun (varun-magical) wrote :

I conform this on Ubuntu Lucid Lynx too... it is still there in the final version!!

I would like to suggest a potential fix to this issue. Here is what happens when you run update-alternatives:

$ sudo update-alternatives --config x-cursor-theme
There are 7 choices for the alternative x-cursor-theme (providing /usr/share/icons/default/index.theme).

  Selection Path Priority Status
* 0 /etc/X11/cursors/oxy-white.theme 50 auto mode
  1 /etc/X11/cursors/core.theme 30 manual mode
  2 /etc/X11/cursors/handhelds.theme 20 manual mode
  3 /etc/X11/cursors/oxy-white.theme 50 manual mode
  4 /etc/X11/cursors/redglass.theme 20 manual mode
  5 /etc/X11/cursors/whiteglass.theme 20 manual mode
  6 /usr/share/icons/DMZ-Black/cursor.theme 30 manual mode
  7 /usr/share/icons/DMZ-White/cursor.theme 50 manual mode

Press enter to keep the current choice[*], or type selection number:


As we can observe above oxy-white (the KDE cursor theme) is set to automatic mode and status of 50. Would it not resolve the bug to change this value or switch it to manual mode by default? Another idea is to have debconf ask the user for which cursor they would like although I like this idea less because it will not allow a seamless installation of kubuntu-desktop.

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dmiller309 (dmiller309) wrote :

I have noticed this in the most recent beta too. Question: Though the Kubuntu mouse shouldn't be in GNOME at all, why are there no dancing icons next to the mouse when I open a new program in Ubuntu?

Revision history for this message
Jared Sot (jroddc) wrote :

I can confirm this issue in the 10.04 LTS Final! It happens when installing the Kubuntu Desktop Package on an existing vanilla Ubuntu. It seems to flip a few switches changing the default mouse theming on Ubuntu to the KDE Oxy One. (Personally I prefer the Ubuntu DMZ white so this was a issue for me)

The Gnome Theme Dialog can no longer change the Cursor at all! The Kde System Settings does change it but only till you log out.

The Fix!:
Just Run
sudo update-alternatives --config x-cursor-theme

... Then select a number 0-7 ( each number represents the cursor theme you want)
7 is the default Ubuntu DMZ white.

This should fix the issue. it did for me , Thanks to "varun" and others for the fix! :)
I Agree This should be rolled as the fix see "varuns" comment (above)
I suggest making the post install config run this as a script or something clever.

affects: kdebase-workspace (Ubuntu) → kde-workspace (Ubuntu)
Revision history for this message
Colin Sauze (colinsauze) wrote :

Having encountered this in 10.04, I've just done a fresh install of kubuntu 12.04.1 (precise) and found this issue still exists. The " sudo update-alternatives --config x-cursor-theme" fix is still valid though, but it would be nice if when I choose a different cursor theme in the KDE system settings program, that this is actually the cursor I see in all applications rather than just some of them. For example, I chose the "KDE Classic" cursor theme and it was there in all KDE applications, but in Firefox I still get the Oxygen cursor.

Revision history for this message
Tim S (timss) wrote :

Still present in KDE 4.8.4. Not Ubuntu specific, affects Debian installations as well (currently using Debian testing, updated as of Aug 17, 2013).

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