Mouse cursor is tiny on HiDPI screens

Bug #1700085 reported by Till Kamppeter
This bug affects 33 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
gnome-shell (Ubuntu)
mutter (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

I am on Artful and have switched to GNOME as GNOME is the default desktop now and Unity shows some instabilities.

I am using a Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon (2nd gen.) notebook with 14-inch QHD (2560x1440) display, so I am well over the good old 72-dpi CRT resolution.

With some effort I have at least got a somewhat useful scaling of the GUI elements (esp. text size), mainly by getting into Unity7, getting into the Display Settings there, removing my ~1.5 scaling factor, returning to GNOME, installing the advanced settings manager (gnome-tweak-tool or so) and setting a scaling factor of ~2). Large text in accessibilty does not work for me as it makes the text huge.

Now the mouse cursor does no bother on all these changes. It stays always in its 72-dpi hard-coded size which is really tiny under GNOME on my QHD screen. It gets easily totally invisible for me, especially on text fields where it gets a skinny vertical bar.

Therefore there are two fixes needed:

1. Mouse cursor needs to scale with scale factor for the desktop, so that it is in a good size relation with the rest of the desktop. Please take this into account for fractional scaling efforts.

2. Even a standard-sized mouse cursor can be too small for people with vision problems, so the accessibility options need a possibility to apply a (fractional) adjustable scaling factor to the mouse cursor's standard size.

Please take these changes into account ASAP, ideally on 17.10 at the latest. Please consider backporting upstream fixes for achieving this goal.

Changed in gnome-desktop (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Critical
Revision history for this message
Jeremy Bícha (jbicha) wrote :

#2: gnome-control-center master (future 3.26) has a Cursor Size setting in Settings>Universal Access so that issue is already fixed whenever we get the new version (probably at least in time for 18.04 LTS).

Revision history for this message
Jeremy Bícha (jbicha) wrote :

Unless you're in a hurry, I'd personally wait on backporting 3.26 changes to 17.10 "Artful" until we make the go/no-go decision on GNOME 3.26 in August.

affects: gnome (Ubuntu) → gnome-shell (Ubuntu)
no longer affects: gnome-desktop (Ubuntu)
tags: added: gnome-17.10 hidpi
removed: accessibility
Revision history for this message
Jeremy Bícha (jbicha) wrote :

The missing option to change the Cursor Size in gnome-control-center is LP: #841046

Revision history for this message
Daniel van Vugt (vanvugt) wrote :

I found the opposite problem yesterday, which might be the same bug as this. When switching from a high scaling factor of 2 or 3 back to 1, the mouse cursor stayed big for longer than expected :)

Changed in gnome-shell (Ubuntu):
importance: Critical → High
tags: added: cursor
Revision history for this message
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in gnome-shell (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Revision history for this message
Fusion (bornolbers) wrote :

On Ubuntu 17.10 default (gnome) / nvidia 1050Ti - 384.59 / monitor 3840x2160:

First, through gnome-tweaks it scale could be set to an integer 1,2,.. and for fonts to a different values 1,00, ...

Now, no hidpi option (the 1,2,..) exists on gnome-tweaks.

Ideally, hidpi could be set automatically depending on monitor size and resolution.

Less ideally, it could be an option like unity's system-setting with more values (1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, ...) For example in my case 1.5 was far better than 2 that I am using now (and there is no option to change it again)

Revision history for this message
Till Kamppeter (till-kamppeter) wrote :

There is no way to adjust scaling in current Ubuntu Artful.

It has disappeared from gnome-tweaks-tool and did not get added to gnome-settings.

My suggestion for the right place for scaling is the "Displays" section of gnome-settings. There there should be a widget for entering a scaling value (non-integer) in each Display's configuration dialog (so that you can also adjust displays with different resolution to fit together).

Back to this bug report, the mouse pointer ideally gets pre-scaled by the scaling factor for the display and in the mouse settings the user can enter a scaling factor to adjust it to his needs. Could we do it this way?

As a workaround for the time being I selected the "Redglass" mouse cursor theme in gnome-tweak-tool as the (too small) red cursor is more visible than the (too small) black cursor.

Revision history for this message
Daniel van Vugt (vanvugt) wrote :

I noticed in a Wayland session it's often only the X(Xwayland) apps that have the wrong cursor size. Sadly this includes the desktop area (nautilus-desktop is an X app).

tags: added: visual-quality
Revision history for this message
Andreas Hasenack (ahasenack) wrote :

Here it stays tiny for a while after reboot/login, and eventually grows to a more normal size. I don't know what triggers the growth.
I have gnome-shell 3.26.0-0ubuntu2 on artful, same screen as Till's, and am using a 200% scale factor.

Revision history for this message
Tor Klingberg (tor-klingberg) wrote :

Still an issue in 18.04

Changed in mutter (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Revision history for this message
Daniel van Vugt (vanvugt) wrote :

For people using Gnome Shell on Xorg, a possible fix just landed upstream:

Please try it if you know how :)

Changed in gnome-shell (Ubuntu):
milestone: ubuntu-17.10 → none
Revision history for this message
Daniel van Vugt (vanvugt) wrote :
tags: added: bionic
Revision history for this message
zhiwei (chenzhiwei) wrote :

I encountered this issue in Ubuntu 18.10 beta, the cursor is very small in Snap apps.

Revision history for this message
Till Kamppeter (till-kamppeter) wrote :

zhiwei (chenzhiwei), same for me. The cursor is now as large as I set it by accessibility settings, but it is tiny in the snap version of LibreOffice.

tags: added: cosmic
Revision history for this message
Axel Meunier (axel-meunier) wrote :

The cursor is tiny on my hidpi screen when using the snap version of inkscape. This is on Fedora 29/Wayland. It's the first snap I ever installed so i don't know whether it is reproducible with other snap apps.

Revision history for this message
PabloAB (pabloab777) wrote :

From what I see on Askubuntu may be related with

tags: removed: cosmic
Revision history for this message
Suor (suor-web) wrote :

Still having this in Ubuntu 20.10. The cursor size is normal in Chrome but all the apps like Nautilus makes it small.

Revision history for this message
Will Bender (will-bender-wurl) wrote :

I also experience this problem.

OS: Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS (fossa-bulbasaur X54)
External Monitor: 2k
Laptop Monitor: 4k

Display Config external + laptop screens: 2560x1440 + 1920x1200 (100% scaling)
Display Config only laptop screen: 3840x2400 (200% scale)

It happens when I switch from external monitor + laptop to just my laptop. The "display scale" goes to 200% or 100%

Duplication notes
1. start application while only using laptop then plug in external monitor (200% -> 100% scale): Cursor is HUGE
2. start application while both monitors are in use then unplug external monitor (100% -> 200% scale): Cursor is TINY
3. Restarting the app fixes the cursor size problem

Apps tested where bug **occurs**
"VSCode": YES. Restarting vscode fixes it
"Webstorm": YES. Restarting fixes it. Happens on multiple jetbrains products including "toolbox"
"Slack": YES. Restarting fixes it.
"Google Chrome": NO. I have a hunch google fixed it themselves or are immune
"Gedit": NO.
"Gnome Terminal": NO.

Revision history for this message
Sebastian 'polrus' Tur (dpbasti) wrote :

similar problem now in 23.04 almost 6 yrs later
When i hover over the desktop cursor is tiny with 4k display and 200% scaling @wayland. so tiny that it is unusable.
When i hover over the panel or open file manager cursor is fine.
Looks very ugly to have cursor changing size on hovering at the border of panel/desktop background

Revision history for this message
fl_ori4n (girard.florian) wrote :

I just noticed the same issue...
I also nociced that if my laptop goes to sleep it's small when I'm using it again. But if I switch to xorg (and not wayland) I can restart it and it's working ok until my laptop goes to sleep again.

tags: added: focal lunar
removed: bionic gnome-17.10
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