Cursor ghosting on X

by Juliet Kemp

A couple of times I've had users complaining about cursor "ghosting" problems while running Gnome - that if typing something, the cursor seems to rewrite itself as it normally would (to move along the line) but not to delete the old cursor positions. So you wind up with a line of cursors. Admittedly this is not disastrous but it is irritating.

I've only observed this on systems with the following features: running Debian etch (testing); NVida graphics card; using the nv driver in xorg.conf.

The solution which has worked for me is simply to download and build the nvidia driver (see here for a quick how-to), edit xorg.conf to use that instead of nv, and restart X.

If you're still seeing the problem after restarting X, check the logs (/var/log/Xorg.0.log) to make sure that the nvidia driver really is being used. I once found that it wasn't; ps -A revealed a long-running X process which had to be killed before the new xorg.conf settings were picked up.


2007-03-23 07:26:01
Yes, the same counts for me. I have 2 machines with Debian sid (unstable) with nvidia cards (MX440 and GL5200). With those machines I don't have problems. I have one other machine with Debian etch (testing) and a GL6200SLI card which has the same problem. I don't know if etch or the card is the problem, but I don't want to use the proprietary nvidia driver. Another problem with that machine is that in some KDE windows (e.g. file selection dialog) half of the rows are black text on black background (instead of a light blue background).

I should file a bug, but I still have to figure out for which package.
2007-03-31 01:40:29
While I did some futher research I found that the cursor problem with the nv drive is a known bug (
The solution is to add
Option "XaaNoSolidFillRect"
to the device section of the nv driver in the xorg.conf file.
The other problem I had was solved by restoring the default theme in kde, for some reason the current theme was changed/corrupted.
2007-05-13 01:20:40
And also I encounter with the same problem in OpenSuse 10.2. I will try your solution. I hope it will work
aura urlaub
2007-11-20 07:10:01
thank yous a lot. this was the hint I needed. these cursor artefacts (undeleted 'old cursors', weird blinking animation-like cursor) were really annoying. I didn't know where this behaviour came from or if even it is intended (cursor animation?): so it's a bug, not a feature... ;)