Mouse pointer disappears after switching users

In Linux, if your mouse pointer disappears after switching users or after logging out and then back in, the problem is most likely caused by a bug with your video card driver. In most cases the mouse will still continue to work even though the mouse pointer is hidden or has disappeared completely from screen view. The fix is actually quite simple and only involves adding a single options line to the xorg.conf file.

I’ve personally seen this problem occur in various Linux distributions including Debian, Ubuntu and Pendrivelinux.

Notes: The missing mouse pointer problem seems to exist particularly for those using “nv” nVidia drivers.  In which case, we must explicitly add a line to xorg.conf to disable HWCursor. The default value, which is used if the line is not present, is “On”. For more information, see the man page of the nv driver: man nv

Fixing the missing mouse pointer problem:

  1. Open a terminal and type:
  2. sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf
  3. Locate the Section “Device” section and add the following line:
  4. Option "HWCursor" "off"
  5. So it looks similar to the following (your Section “Device” section may vary)
  6. Section “Device”
    Identifier “nVidia Corporation C51PV [GeForce 6150]”
    Driver “nv”
    BusID “0:5:0”
    Option “HWCursor” “off”

  7. Save the xorg.conf file and restart your PC