There was some recent discussion on one of the local User Group lists this week about “What is your favorite underdog OSS application?” This discussion brought out quite a few of the little never-heard-of applications, yet many of them have proven to be really useful! If you’ve never spent an hour or two poking around the less-popular section of the repositories you’ll be surprised what you find in there!
Auto-Hide Your Mouse Pointer with Unclutter
The purpose of Unclutter is very simply. From the man page:
unclutter removes the cursor image from the screen so that it does not obstruct the area you are looking at after it has not moved for a given time.
Not anything too complicated about that. Now lets get it installed! Installation can be done by issuing the following command or clicking the link.
sudo aptitude install unclutter
Now that we have it installed the one last thing we’ll need to do is configure it and have it automagically start at boot time. We’ll do this by way of “System > Preferences > Sessions”
The “sessions” for your Desktop controls what applications and services are auto-started when you login. This way unclutter will start up automatically. You’ll want to click “Add” and populate the three fields. For name “Unclutter” should be fine. For the command field you’ll want something like:
unclutter -display :0.0 -idle 5
And you can populate the comment with whatever you like. I used “Remove the cursor image after mouse inactivity.”
You can find more options in the man page (
man unclutter), but this should basically hide the mouse pointer after 5 seconds of inactivity on your default display.