Adwaita2b Cursors


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A variation on the Adwaita cursor theme of gnome-themes-standard; optimized to look good on hardware that supports only 2 bits per pixel.

In 2bpp, one bit is black or white, one bit is alpha.

GPUs that only support 2bpp hardware cursors can be found on ARM modern SoCs, perhaps because they target tablet-style devices, which often do not show a pointer. At OLPC, we use these cursors on our XO-1.75 laptops.

In their current incarnation, the cursor spinners draw inspiration and pixels from the Sugar cursor theme.


Modification of Adwaita cursors

The changes made in the SVG were:

  • shadows have been removed (arrow pointer shadow is added manually in
  • the PNGs, see "handcraft work" below)
  • shades have been removed (like gradients and inner glows)
  • the watches have been modified to an arrow spinning in circles




Change adwaita2b.svg using a SVG editor, then do the build process below.

Build process

1. convert the SVG in several pngs:

 cd src
 ./ adwaita2b.svg

2. convert pngs in X11 cursors:

 cd src/pngs

The cursors will be stored in data directory. Note that by doing point 1 the hand-made cursors will be overriten and they must be modified by hand again.

Handcraft work for the arrow pointer

Due to issues in the convertion from SVG to PNG format, the arrow pointer doesn't look good. Further, it is great if we can add a bit of shadow below the arrow, because the shape is clearer and is more consistent with the original adwaita cursor theme.

So this is the list of hand-modified images:

  • left-ptr.png
  • right-ptr.png
  • circle.png
  • link.png
  • move.png
  • copy.png
  • watch_*.png

To test in Fedora 14

 mkdir /usr/share/icons/adwaita2b
 cd /usr/share/icons/adwaita2b
 unzip /path/to/cursors-data.tar.gz
 mv data cursors

boot into gnome, System -- Preferences -- appearances -- theme -- personalize -- icons, pick adwaita2b .

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