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.

  • 1
    Can't think of one, but that sounds like a nice project.
    – dirkt
    Jan 30, 2017 at 12:42
  • Related, over at Ask Ubuntu: askubuntu.com/questions/569274/…
    – Kusalananda
    Jan 30, 2017 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, 2021 at 13:05

4 Answers 4


You can do this on any GNOME based distro using dconf (part of GNOME, replacement of 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

To use Shift_R instead of Control_L:

gsettings set org.gnome.mutter locate-pointer-key Shift_R

GUI way

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

dconf-editor screenshot

Another alternative (more Mac-style) is to use Jiggle GNOME extension.


  • On my Ubuntu 19.10, that doesn't work, there is no locate-pointer key.
    – Enno
    Apr 23, 2020 at 8:09
  • Can't get this (or any other solution) to work for 20.10.
    – Snowcrash
    Oct 30, 2020 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, 2020 at 19:47
  • You might also be interested to remap the key instead of Left Control. Simply set gsettings set org.gnome.mutter locate-pointer-key Shift_R. I tested it on U21.04, but I think it has been there already since GNOME 3.36.
    – fsevenm
    Aug 27, 2021 at 23:25
  • This works fine for me except the animations is so small and low-contrast that I still can't find my pointer using my peripheral vision.
    – RoG
    Dec 16, 2021 at 14:15

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 :-( May 13, 2019 at 19:18
  • it is also not so acceptable option, since it overlaps with the thousands of situations where you need the ctr key as modifier... :-/ The "ctr" functionality is preserved, as modifier key, but yo keep seeing the "waves" effect, which sometimes is annoying.
    – Fabio
    Dec 20, 2022 at 16:09

There is also an excellent shake to find cursor package at the following github project: https://github.com/jeffchannell/jiggle

It took me a moment to find out how to install it though, so here it is for future reference:


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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