Fail to understand the installation syntax for changing the cursor icon

.Downloaded an icon file that I want to use and placed it in .local/share/icons

Not sure how to activate it. Fail to understand the installation instructions:

copy Metalica-cursor to ~/.icons directory
cp -r Metalica-cursor ~/.icons


The tilde (~) means your home directory, where you have your Documents, Pictures, etc. Any file or folder that starts with a period (.) is hidden, which simply means that it won't show by default.

Open your file explorer and press Ctrl+H, a bunch of new files and folders should become visible now. If you don't already have a folder called .icons, create it. Now you can move your downloaded file into this folder.
If the downloaded file comes archived in a zip or tar.gz format, right-click on it and extract the contents of the files. Sometimes this can cause a mess because the files are not extracted neatly in their own folder. If this is the case, create a new folder where to store those files.

The end result should be that you have one folder where you will store your these files (if you download more cursors, each should be in their respective folders).

Next, install gnome-tweaks from the Software Store or with the following command on a terminal:

sudo apt install gnome-tweaks

Then select the icon set from Gnome Tweaks -> Appearance -> Icons. If you don't see your icon set listed, try to move your icons to ~/.icons as per the instructions from the icon set.
I just realized I highlighted the wrong item, it should be cursor just above... oops :smiley:

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Wouldn't it be better when @MCabZ would take the Cursor Theme Folder to usr/share/icons ? With Cursor Themes I have made the Experience that they didn't work in all Programs when they only in the .local Path.

I suppose it's a matter of preference, for example you may not want to override the cursor used by programs. But as far as I know there shouldn't be any difference between these two locations, other than one would be available to the user (since the ~/.icons and ~/.local/share/icons are under the user's home directory) and the other would be available to all users.


For Icon sets, I place them in /usr/share/icons for system-wide use. But Cursors can be placed in ~/.icons.
I recommend placing them in ~/.icons because that is first priority whereas system-wide is second priority.

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Yes↑. I don't think programs run as root can't use themes that are located only within your home folder. gparted, for example.

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Thanks to all of the replies. I obtained the cursor icon in a compressed file which I expanded in ~/.local/share/icons All the files are in one folder. My cursor remains the same, so I am trying to find out how to use those icons. Zorin is my first Linux installation, I am a windows nerd trying to learn a new language and skills. :grin:

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That's interesting. Icon Sets I pack in the .local Path and that works for me well.

So, Welcome in the Linux World!

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Yes, that path will also work.
The Home directory is first priority.

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¡I created this topic and have selected WATCHING to be notified of any replies. Not happening ¿? :thinking:

Try moving them into the ~/.icons folder instead. I just tried myself and indeed it wouldn't work otherwise. Strange, I thought all icons would behave the same way but it looks like cursors are somewhat special.

Watching means that you will see a count of new replies on the main forum overview:

Correction, "Tracking" does that. I wonder if perhaps it didn't select properly?

It should work in /.local/share/icons. I just tested it and it worked.

Did you by chance test it by opening an app that uses its own cursor?
Or a Flatpak?

When I selected the cursor from Tweaks it immediately changed once it was in the ~/.icons directory. But then, even after logging out, nothing happened when I tried on ~/.local/share/icons (this is on Debian 12 with Gnome 43 if it makes a difference)

OK. Thanks. Changed it to TRACKING to see what happens. I created the folder .icons on Home and moved the cursor folder from~/.local/share/icons to ~/.icons Restarted and no change :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Is the icon theme packed in an archive (zipped, .zip, .tar.gz)?
Is it unzipped, but in a parent folder?

Can you share a link to the cursor theme in question, just to try it out on our end?

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Downloaded cursor theme from >> Metalica -
it was tar.gz I expanded it first in ~/.local/share/icons Not getting any results I then created ~/.icons and put the Metalica icons folder there. Zilch.

Did you install gnome-tweaks? It seems to be working fine on my end. Note, this is on ZorinOS 16.3 Core but it should be the same for ZorinOS 17 if you are using that.

Also the notifications which I've never tried.


Thanks. No I haven't installed gnome tweaks. Sounds like that is my problem. Will give it a go.