The Mystery of the Vanishing Mouse Pointer

OS Updates. Who loves Operating System updates? Well, everyone does and if they don’t, well they should because updates bring new features and bug fixes. Especially when you use a well maintained distro like Fedora, updates are frequent and most of the time mean solid improvements in both performance and features. But, sometimes new bugs get introduced, which is less fun depending on how severe the defect is.

Fedora: Dude, Where’s My Mouse Pointer?

With the recent Fedora update/upgrade, we ran into a very strange issue. For example, two days ago we ran a dnf update which updated and upgraded a veritable plethora of packages. Yes. A plethora. In fact, everything seemed fine until I noticed that my mouse pointer would disappear when it would enter the top of the screen. Indeed, when I’d go to click anywhere in the top bar area (Application, Places, the calendar, etc) the mouse pointer would vanish.

Thankfully, the Fedora community is on it and this behavior is related to Bug 1316010 and the problem itself appears to be related to an issue with mutter-3.18.3-1.fc23.x86_64, which is a window manager that works with the GNOME desktop. A quick check confirms that this is the version of mutter that I have currently installed:

rpm -qa | grep -i mutter

Again, if you don’t have mutter-3.18.3-1.fc23.x86_64, then this probably doesn’t apply to you.

Effectively, the mutter-3.18.3-2.fc23.x86_64 package update includes the fix and will resolve the issue. So not only do we love updates, we love quick fixes too.

no mouse pointer
What’s missing from this picture? Exactly.

Update:  The following version of mutter has been released and is now available to you in regular updates:

Running dnf upgrade like so should get you the new version:
dnf upgrade

You’ll need to restart X, but you’re really better off just rebooting.
To confirm that you have the new version, you can do the following. Or hey, just confirm that your mouse pointer is back.
rpm -qa | grep -i mutter

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