The cursor in active terminal window stops blinking after ten seconds.

Bug #838381 reported by Olli Kankare
This bug affects 6 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
GNOME Terminal
gnome-terminal (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

When the cursor stops blinking, you start to wonder if something is wrong.

The point is that the cursor should never stop blinking in an active terminal window.

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 11.10
Package: gnome-terminal 3.0.1-0ubuntu3
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 3.0.0-9.15-generic 3.0.3
Uname: Linux 3.0.0-9-generic x86_64
Architecture: amd64
Date: Wed Aug 31 23:46:47 2011
ExecutablePath: /usr/bin/gnome-terminal
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 11.04 "Natty Narwhal" - Beta amd64 (20110402)
SourcePackage: gnome-terminal
UpgradeStatus: Upgraded to oneiric on 2011-08-27 (4 days ago)

Revision history for this message
Olli Kankare (o.k) wrote :
Changed in gnome-terminal (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Revision history for this message
Sam_ (and-sam) wrote :

Confirmed and sent upstream. Behaviour doesn't appear with Natty gnome-terminal 2.32.1.

tags: added: regression-release
Changed in gnome-terminal:
importance: Unknown → Medium
status: Unknown → Invalid
Revision history for this message
Sam_ (and-sam) wrote :

Upstream set bug as invalid.
Comment from developer:
That's normal. The cursor stops to blink after a timeout, in order to save

Revision history for this message
Sam_ (and-sam) wrote :

Since it's no show-stopper wondering if it's a papercut or wishlist. Olli, any feedback on this?

Revision history for this message
Olli Kankare (o.k) wrote :

It's nothing I can't live with, but as stated in the original bug description, it's somewhat annoying when you don't realize that it's supposed to do that.
Imho it deters users with more experience from upgrading.
The action should be some kind of extra power saving option and not on by default.

Revision history for this message
Sam_ (and-sam) wrote :

I've found energy saving as argument at this point kind of absurd, refraining from negative list of apps, servers, cars ... , questioning the impact it seems rather a political than usability argument.
I'd expect to visualize if a terminal window has focus or not, without a blinking cursor there is no such indication.
Agreed on an opt-in option, but since it sounds like a final decision from upstream I'll have a look at other terminal apps.

Revision history for this message
Olli Kankare (o.k) wrote :

I agree, many times the blinking cursor is just what is needed to indicate that the focused terminal is working as intended or for example a connection to a server is live.

Removing the blinking makes simple monitoring of the focused terminal impossible.

Upstream should rethink their position on this, as I suspect the power saved is so miniscule that it's completely neglectable compared to the severe issues removing the blinking causes with the usability.

Revision history for this message
Sam_ (and-sam) wrote :

Just came along another bug (1096810) which reminded me of the workaround for this one.
Install dconf-tools, run dconf-editor, go to org.gnome.desktop.interface, adjust cursor-blink-timeout as preferred.

Revision history for this message
Steve Stevenson (marginallosses) wrote :

I'd like to report that the workaround suggested in comment #8 has no effect in Xubuntu 18.04. It seems the native xfce4-terminal is also affected. I thought I'd solve the issue by switching to a terminal that isn't built on GTK so I installed Eterm, only to learn that not only does the cursor not blink by default in Eterm, but there is in fact no way to enable cursor blinking. When did the world decide that cursor blinking is a cancer to be eradicated from the face of the earth?

Revision history for this message
Rafael Borges Dias Baptista (borjovsky) wrote :

I have to agree 99999999% with @Olli Kankare.

"To save energy" is so ridiculous that is hilarious!

A simple blinking cursor that suddenly just stops for no reason, looks like the system has CRASHED!! This is even more important when you deal with the system's TERMINAL!

Anywhere else the cursor keeps blinking normally. It definitely should be the default setting.

Revision history for this message
Steve Stevenson (marginallosses) wrote :

I thought I would add the workaround I found which applies to Xubuntu 18.04 but possibly others:

To make the cursor keep blinking in GTK-based applications (which includes gnome-terminal, xfce4-terminal, gedit, pidgin and many others):

1. Open Settings Editor from the Settings menu.
2. Select the xsettings "channel" on the left side of the interface.
3. Click New.
4. The name of the property needs to be /Gtk/CursorBlinkTimeout
5. Set it to be an integer property.
6. Specify a very large number (but less than 2 billion).
7. Click Save

Here's hoping the GNOME group somehow ceases to exist in the near future.

Revision history for this message
Steve Stevenson (marginallosses) wrote :

Taking a second look at my workaround, I realize now that the "Settings Editor" is actually xfce4-settings-editor so this presumably only applies to Xubuntu or a system which otherwise has xfce as the desktop environment.

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