This tutorial will explain how-to change the default gnome cursor to a better one, system wide, it doesn’t matter the window manager you are using, I have noticed that if you use metacity and change the cursor via appearance->theme->customize->pointer it changes for everything but with other window managers (such as compiz, the one I use) It only changes when your mouse it’s over an application, if you hover your mouse over the desktop the default mouse it’s still there so here is a way to fix that.
The same goes for Gnome 3 if you use the gnome-tweak-tool to change the mouse (the same problem will occur).
1) Open up your local home folder and click “Show Hidden” files.
2) Go to your .icon folder and you should find your cursor theme folder.
3) Copy that whole folder to /usr/share/icons/. You will need root access for this (In nautilus, right-click, open as administrator should do the trick, or you can type “sudo -yourfilemanagername-” to open up a window with root privileges)
4) Staying in /usr/share/icons/ and If it’s not already there create a new folder called “default”.
5) Inside “default” create a file called “index.theme”. Again, if there is already a default folder with a file called index.theme then all we have to do is modify that (backup that file just in case).
6) You now have to open Gedit or another text editor with root privileges as we will be saving this to /usr which belongs to root. GNOME sees index.themes as theme files and not as a text file so unfortunately you have to manually open this file. Now open /usr/share/icons/default/index.theme/ and either add this or modify the original. You can just create a text file and after you edit it rename it to “index.theme” so that you can double click and edit it instead of opening up gedit first and then browse for the file.
You have to be sure you get the right “Name_of_Your_Cursor_Theme”. This info is located in your cursor’s index.theme file inside the cursor folder (Almost always the name its the same as the folder name). Just open that up (again manually) and copy everything after “Name=”. Paste that after “Inherits=” and you should be good to go.
Here is my cursor’s index.theme info:
so my /usr/share/icons/default/index.theme/ would look like this:
7) Save and restart X (log out/in).
If you want, HERE is the cursor theme I use. If you want a different one you can just click on X11 Mouse Themes to the left of the page.
Hope it helped.