xterm: set mouse pointer type for ncurses

Henrik Pauli henrik.pauli at uhusystems.com
Mon May 22 09:43:24 UTC 2017

I know you said it's a bit off-topic here, but I noticed something and 
thought it might be related to Tobias's question. In Konsole (and also 
in mate-terminal), if I open mc (which I think is an ncurses 
application), the mouse pointer changes to arrow (from the normal I-beam 
thing); however it does not do so in xterm.  less also uses the 
alternative buffer just like mc, but does not cause the pointer to 
change, so I guess it's not merely the terminal mode change that 
triggers this behaviour in Konsole and mate-terminal.

Is this perhaps some feature that is missing from xterm then but exists 
in Konsole/mate-terminal?

On 22/05/17 10:49, Thomas Dickey wrote:
> On Mon, May 22, 2017 at 09:29:33AM +0200, Ralf Mattes wrote:
>> Am Montag, 22. Mai 2017 03:07 CEST, Thomas Dickey <dickey at his.com> schrieb:
>>> On Mon, May 22, 2017 at 12:01:43AM +0200, Tobias Girstmair wrote:
>>>> Hi, I'm new here.
>>>> I am trying to build a curses based program, and I'd like to know if
>>>> there is an option to change the mouse cursor type.
>>>> The default is the text selection cursor, but I need to use the
>>>> 'normal' pointer style, if that makes sense to any of you.
>>>> Is there a control sequence (or at least a command line parameter)
>>>> for this available?
>>> man curs_set
>> But this sets the _cursor_. The OP asked about the _mouse pointer_. IIRC ncurses
>> doesn't deal with the X layer, it only operates at the terminal (emulation) layer.
> agreed - that interface is all that ncurses provides.
> The "mouse pointer" in _xterm_ may be set via an X resource (unless it's
> using the cursor-theme stuff).  That's done via XDefineCursor().
>         pointerShape (class Cursor)
>                 Specifies the name of the shape of the pointer.  The default is
>                 “xterm”.
> Technically its color can be set using an escape sequence, but iirc the
> required support in the X server has been broken for a long time (due to
> some changes for acceleration).
> By the way, being a "curses" question, it should have been directed to
> bug-ncurses (xorg won't provide any useful insight).
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