I was wondering if there is a feature in linux like OSX "shake to locate cursor", which temporarily makes the user's mouse or trackpad cursor much larger when shaken back and forth, making it easier to locate if the user loses track of it.

  • Can't think of one, but that sounds like a nice project. – dirkt Jan 30 '17 at 12:42
  • Related, over at Ask Ubuntu: askubuntu.com/questions/569274/… – Kusalananda Jan 30 '17 at 12:42
  • Keeping xeyes running is more helpful than I thought, send to all panes of your desktop. When you can't find the cursoe, wiggle the mouse or touchpad and watch the eyes. – Alan Corey Jan 18 at 13:05

In Linux Mint (18.1) you can go to Preferences > Mouse and, under Locate Pointer you can check a box that will tell the system to "Show position of pointer when the Control key is pressed".

I'm not sure if something similar is available on other distros.

Not quite what you asked for. Possibly useful?

  • For me, this was not effective when the pointer is over a black background. The "locator" ripples black circles which can't be seen :-( – Stack Underflow May 13 '19 at 19:18

You can do this on any Gnome based distro using dconf (part of GNOME, replacement for GConf) on org.gnome.settings-daemon.peripherals.mouse, parameter locate-pointer.

CLI way

gsettings set org.gnome.settings-daemon.peripherals.mouse locate-pointer true

On newer versions of Gnome seems to be on this path:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface locate-pointer true

GUI way

Open dconf-editor (might be installed first) and go to one of the above paths:

dconf-editor screenshot


Even with Ubuntu 16.04 and Nautilus 3.14.3 if I turn on this option I suffer this bug that don't let me copy filenames on Nautilus. Working now on Ubuntu 18.04, Gnome 3.28.4.


  • On my Ubuntu 19.10, that doesn't work, there is no locate-pointer key. – Enno Apr 23 '20 at 8:09
  • Can't get this (or any other solution) to work for 20.10. – Snowcrash Oct 30 '20 at 12:57
  • @Snowcrash I'm on 18..04/Gnome 3.28.4. Check if it is on org.gnome.desktop.interface as this issue suggest. – Pablo A Oct 30 '20 at 19:47

The setting of locate-pointer seems to have moved, I found it here in my Fedora 31: org/gnome/desktop/interface/locate-pointer

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface locate-pointer true

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