My coworker has a Mac, and when he loses his mouse cursor, he wiggles the mouse, and the mouse pointer gets bigger and bigger to visually show its location.

Is there anything like that in Linux? I know you can enable an option to press Ctrl to show a quick ripple animation around your pointer. But that requires accessing the keyboard. I'd love to have something like that but only require interaction with the mouse.

Has this been implemented anywhere? Or am I forced to reach over to the keyboard (so difficult!) to help me locate the cursor on 1 of 3 monitors?

Edit: I want a mouse-only solution that does not require pressing any keyboard keys.

  • 3
    Linux is the kernel so no, but X11 may have it. If not then someone could add it. (Note this site incorrectly and confusingly used Linux to mean Gnu/Linux. This error is not unique to this site.) Feb 28, 2017 at 21:12
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    You could have Neko chase your mouse cursor (or a herd of them and his pals with different speed and reactivity if it's still not enough). Feb 28, 2017 at 21:16
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    I think he want [nero] to appear when he shakes the mouse, so would need some mouse gesture software to trigger the effect. Feb 28, 2017 at 21:21
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    Possible duplicate of Highlight current mouse position Jan 4, 2019 at 3:14
  • 1
    The proposed duplicate is a good source of methods to create the visual effect, but none of the answers provides a way to trigger it via mouse gesture.
    – JigglyNaga
    Jan 4, 2019 at 14:12

4 Answers 4


If you want to find your mouse pointer in a sea of pixels you can tap and release the Control key.

If you are running Ubuntu w/Unity Desktop or Ubuntu w/Gnome Desktop run:

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

If you no longer want mouse pointer revealed reverse it's effect with:

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

Here's what it looks like enabled:

gnome locate mouse


Changing the cursor size would be a bit tricky, but you could set up a mouse gesture in something like easystroke that would send a ctrl key event and thus trigger the "ripple" effect. Easystroke won't let you send a modifier key by itself, but you could get around this by choosing "Command" for the action and entering xdotool key ctrl (making sure to have xdotool installed of course).

I tested this myself and it does work... kinda. Getting the gesture to trigger seems a tad difficult, but in fairness I've only got a trackpad to work with at the moment.


You could install compiz fusion and then add a mouse keybinding if you have a mouse with a scroll wheel that supports click, just assign a "key binding" to the 'show mouse' plugin for clicking the mouse wheel.


Credit to https://askubuntu.com/questions/370344/is-there-a-mouse-trail-option for the screenshot of ccsm showing that there is a mouse button initiate capability for this plugin. ccsm show mouse

  • also i have to add, rofl @Stéphane Chazelas's suggestion to have oneko chase the cursor I thought that was good.
    – linuxgeek
    Nov 27, 2017 at 18:06

xeyes helps you locate the pointing device, it does not make the pointer bigger, but it keeps its "eyes" on the pointing device. It comes standard in the repos (x11-apps package on Debian-based systems).

If you want something "fancy", then linuxgeek's answer is what you want ... compiz fusion comes with a lot of plugins, e.g. for wobbly windows, a cube effect and rotating cursor among many more.

Make sure you have the proprietary graphics driver installed (nvidia/amd, only)

sudo apt-get install compiz compizconfig-settings-manager compiz-plugins-extra libdecoration0-dev

Ensure direct rendering is enabled:

glxinfo | grep render

Should return direct rendering: yes

If it does you can issue compiz --replace to start compiz.

To return to Mate, assuming you use Mate, issue marco --replace. For other Desktop environments, you will have to look up the name of the window manager binary.

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