I´ve got a question concerning my mouse-pointer.

From time to time my mouse-pointer changes to a symbol that represents something like an arrow melted together with a loading-circle. I tried to find out something about it and believe that it means "background activity".

So far so good. But there´s one thing I cannot really explain:

Whenever I open my file-manager pcmanfm in a "normal" way, i.e. by clicking on a desktop-icon or the respective symbol in the task-bar, the window immediately opens - without any mose-pointer activity.

However when I start pcmanfm by clicking the key-combination "WIN-key + e" the window opens as well but with the addition of the "background-activity" symbol. That one can be seen for about 20 seconds and then vanishes.

Can someone help me find out why that is?

System: Linux/Lubuntu 16.04.4 LTS, 64 bit

1 Answer 1


In the meantime I could solve the mystery. With the help of ondoho from linuxquestions.org. If anyone is interested here´s some background info:

File: ~/.config/openbox/lxde-rc.xml

please have a look at that file. (warning! XML is hard to read without syntax highlighting!) the name might differ slightly, but you'll find it (*). you will notice that most app launch entries have a section that says something like this:


startup notification is a mechanism that displays the background activity pointer until it is able to recognize that the application started. unfortunately, sometimes it is not able to recognize that, so the background activity pointer just stays there until it times out.

that's what you're seeing; it does not mean that there actually is any background activity, or that the launched application has a problem. it simply means that the mechanism that displays the background activity pointer is broken. and your system remains perfectly usable.

a small annoyance, but harmless.

Source: https://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/linux-newbie-8/mouse-pointer-symbol-background-activity-4175626657/

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