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Automatically hide your mouse cursor with Unclutter | Hund

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Automatically hide your mouse cursor with Unclutter

Friday, July 13, 2018

My website has moved to a new address: hund.tty1.se

If you almost never use the computer mouse like me, you are most likely also finding the mouse cursor distracting and in the way of your work. But there’s actually a way of automatically hiding it when it’s not being used and it’s made possible with the tool Unclutter, or more preferably with unclutter-xfixes.

Unclutter is actually a very old tool and the latest version of it dates back to 1996, this is why the user Airblader (the person behind i3-gaps) decided to fork the project under the name unclutter-xfixes and bring it up to date.

But with that said, I’ve been using the old Unclutter until recently and I have never had any issues with it. So it should work just fine, but unclutter-xfixes is the recommended choice.

Usage

Using Unclutter/unclutter-xfixes is nothing more than running the command unclutter. And if you check out the manual, you will find a few optional flags to tinker with, like the flag --timeout <n> which changes the number of seconds after which the cursor should be hidden.

Installation

Unclutter

Unclutter is both available in the repositories for Arch Linux and Ubuntu as unclutter:

Arch Linux:

# pacman -S unclutter

Ubuntu:

# apt install unclutter

unclutter-xfixes

Arch Linux:

unclutter-xfixes is available via the Arch User Repo as the package unclutter-xfixes-git.

Ubuntu:

If you’re using Ubuntu (or most likely any other Linux distribution) you then need to compile it yourself.

Start with installing the dependencies:

# apt install build-essential libev-dev libx11-dev libxfixes-dev libxi-dev pkg-config

And optionally you also might want to install the package asciidoc if you want to include the manual. Do note that I needed to download more than 700MB worth of packages for that, which is why I only added it as a optional dependency. But it’s only needed when compiling the package, so it’s okay to uninstall it when you done compiling unclutter-xfixes.

And lastly, continue to download the source code and compile it:

$ git clone https://github.com/Airblader/unclutter-xfixes
$ cd unclutter-xfixes
$ make
# make install

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