unclutter(1) remove idle cursor image from screen


unclutter [-display|-d display] [-idle seconds] [-keystroke] [-jitter pixels] [-grab] [-noevents] [-reset] [-root] [-onescreen] [-visible] [-regex] [-not|-notname name ...] [-notclass class ...]


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. It does not do this if the cursor is in the root window or a button is down. It tries to ignore jitter (small movements due to noise) if you have a mouse that twitches.


is followed by the display to open.
is followed by the number of seconds between polls for idleness. The default is 5. Supports subsecond idle times.
tells unclutter not to use a timeout to determine when to remove the cursor, but to instead wait until a key has been pressed (released, really).
is followed by the amount of movement of the pointer that is to be ignored and considered as random noise. The default is 0.
means use the original method of grabbing the pointer in order to remove the cursor. This often doesn't interoperate too well with some window managers.
stops unclutter sending a pseudo EnterNotify event to the X client whose cursor has been stolen. Sending the event helps programs like emacs think that they have not lost the pointer focus. This option is provided for backwards compatibility in case some clients get upset.
resets the timeout for idleness after the cursor is restored for some reason (such as a window being pushed or popped) even though the x y coordinates of the cursor have not changed. Normally, the cursor would immediately be removed again.
means remove the cursor even if it is on the root background, where in principle it should not be obscuring anything useful.
restricts unclutter to the single screen specified as display, or the default screen for the display. Normally, unclutter will unclutter all the screens on a display.
ignore visibility events (does not apply to -grab). If the cursor never gets hidden, despite a generous -jitter value, try this option
is followed by a list of window names where the cursor should not be removed. The first few characters of the WM_NAME property on the window need to match one the listed names. This argument must be the last on the command line.
is exactly the same as -not
is similar to -notname, except that the WM_CLASS property of the window is used. This argument must be the last on the command line, and so cannot be used with -not or -notname.
treats the first name or class (see above) as a regular expression. This means that `` -regex -not foo bar '' will not work as expected; instead use `` -regex -not 'foo|bar' ''.


The -keystroke option may not work (that is, the cursor will not disappear) with clients that request KeyRelease events. Games and Xt applications using KeyUp in their translation tables are most likely to suffer from this problem. The most feasible solution is to extend unclutter to use the XTest extension to get all keyboard and mouse events, though this of course requires XTest to be in the server too.

The -keystroke option does not distinguish modifier keys from keys which actually generate characters. If desired this could be implemented in a simple way by using XLookupString to see if any characters are returned.


The message

 someone created a sub-window to my sub-window!

means that unclutter thinks a second unclutter is running, and tried to steal the cursor by creating a sub-window to the sub-window already used to steal the cursor. This situation quickly deteriorates into a fight no one can win, so it is detected when possible and the program gives up.


Mark M Martin. cetia 7feb1994. [email protected]