Support for multiple independent mouse cursors

Peter Hutterer mailinglists at
Tue Apr 25 16:34:06 PDT 2006

Hi all,

I've been working on enabling multiple independent system cursors in  
X for a while now. Finally, I have something that is worth having a  
look at. The Multi-Pointer X Server (MPX) is a set of patches to the  
X Server to keep track of the different devices and maintain a system  
cursor state for each configured device. Before events are sent to  
the server, they are modified to comply to the specific cursor that  
has changed the state.

The event delivery works well. It is possible to use several  
applications simultaneously with different cursors, but also one   
application with multiple cursors (i.e. two-handed interaction in  
the  GIMP). There are no new APIs or protocol extensions, it fits  
into the X Input Extension. There are still some bugs with system  
cursor rendering.

If somebody is interested in trying MPX, patches and documentation  
are available on Full instructions on how to patch  
the X CVS tree are included.
There are also a few screenshots and three short example videos.
I don't expect that MPX will hit the main source tree anytime soon.  
The approach I have chosen to implement this is somewhat unusual and  
breaks with some assumptions in the X Server. It is worthwile trying  
it out though.

I'd appreciate any feedback.


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