cursor turns invisible when pressing any of a laptops's special keys

dark_mail at dark_mail at
Tue Apr 11 02:47:14 PDT 2006

Felix Kühling schrieb:
> Am Dienstag, den 11.04.2006, 01:42 +0200 schrieb dark_mail at
>>I recently installed Gentoo Linux on a Samsung X20 1730V Laptop.
>>I currently use xorg-7.0-r1 together with a recent xfce4 desktop, but the
>>problems mentioned below also occur with windowmaker or fvwm.
>>When I press one of the special keys on the keyboard, e.g. to show a little
>>pictogram of the actual battery state or to swich on/off the touchpad, the
>>mouse cursor vanishes or rather turns invisible, as I can still move it
>>around and use it. When I move the (invisible) cursor, it shows me the
>>pictogram normally supposed to be in the left upper corner at the cursor
>>The cursor turns back to visibility when I move it over an application
>>window, be it a console, a browser, gkrellm, just off the root window
>>(however, this is not the case when I move the cursor over the xfce panel).
> Sounds like your BIOS uses the hardware cursor to display the battery
> icon (or other icons). The Xserver has no way of knowing that the cursor
> image and position were changed, so the cursor is invisible until the
> Xserver uploads a new cursor image. This happens when you move the mouse
> over a window, changing the cursor shape.
> My Samsung X50 notebook has the same feature. It has a Radeon chip which
> has two distinct hardware cursors (one ARGB and one two-colored one).
> The one that is used for the icons doesn't interfere with the Xorg ARGB
> cursor.
> Looking at the source, the i810 driver seems to support ARGB cursors
> too. It uses different hardware cursors depending on whether an ARGB or
> a two-colored cursor is used. IOW, try using an ARGB cursor. The BIOS
> should leave that one alone. (I don't know how to do that in xfce. Gnome
> uses an ARGB cursor by default.)
>>And, before I forget to add this, when I don't move the cursor during the
>>appearance of the pictogram, I only see pixal garbage in the corner. But
>>that's just additional stuff.
> I don't quite understand this. Are you saying, if you don't move the
> mouse, you see garbage instead of the icon? Then what happens, when you
> do move the mouse? Does the garbage move with the mouse position or does
> it just disappear? Or is the icon displayed correctly?
>>I hope you have an idea what I can do about that problem. I tried turning
>>off the hardware cursor, but no change.
> Disabling the hardware cursor should help. How did you try disabling it?
> Option "SWcursor" "yes" should to the trick.
> Regards,
>   Felix
>>The laptop has an Intel 915 graphics module.
>>gcc is 3.4.5, glibc is 2.3.5-r3
>>I put my xorg.conf into the attachment.
>>Maybe it can help you help me :-)
>>(Although I have to admit it looks a bit messy for all the stuff I tried to
>>solve this and many other major and minor problems of mine.)
I had used Option	"hwcursor" "off"

Using "SWcursor" "on" instead did the trick for me. Thanks! :-)

It cripples 3d performance (which isn't too high, anyway), but I think I
can live with this. Now the pixel garbage stays in the corner, and the
cursor behaves like it should.

To clarify the pictogram issue:
When I pressed a special key, I got pixel garbage in the upper left
corner. When I moved the cursor, the garbage vanished and instead the
right pictogram showed up at the cursor position an followed it. Few
seconds later this pictogram vanished (as it would normally do) and I
get an invisible cursor.

Regarding the ARGB cursor:
I couldn't find anything dealing with xfce and ARGB cursors.
Could you (or someone else) explain shortly what this is?
I'm not really a developer and somewhat lost in the magic this whole lot
of code does to my machine ...


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