Mouse pointer disappears after switching users

In Linux, if your mouse pointer disappears after switching users or after logging out and then back in, the problem is most likely caused by a bug with your video card driver. In most cases the mouse will still continue to work even though the mouse pointer is hidden or has disappeared completely from screen view. The fix is actually quite simple and only involves adding a single options line to the xorg.conf file.

I have personally seen this problem occur in various Linux distributions including Debian, Ubuntu and Pen Drive Linux.

Notes: The missing mouse pointer problem seems to exist particularly for those using "nv" nVidia drivers.  In which case, we must explicitly add a line to xorg.conf to disable HWCursor. The default value, which is used if the line is not present, is "On". For more information, see the man page of the nv driver: man nv

Fixing the missing mouse pointer

  1. Open a terminal Ctrl + Alt + T, and type;
    sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf
  2. Next, locate the Section "Device" line and add the following line just before EndSection;
    Option "HWCursor" "off"

    so it looks similar to the following (Note that your Section "Device" line may vary);

    Section "Device"
    Identifier "nVidia Corporation C51PV [GeForce 6150]"
    Driver "nv"
    BusID "0:5:0"
    Option "HWCursor" "off"
  3. Save the xorg.conf file.
  4. Then restart your PC.

If all went well, you should no longer be missing mouse pointer.