Feedback: the new Breeze mouse cursor in Plasma 6 Dev

I am probably very late to the party, but some days ago I was surprised to realize that the standard Plasma Breeze mouse cursor has been changed in Plasma 6 Dev

Before I write anything more I want to make it clear that I don’t want to discredit the work and time someone has put into this in any way!
And that I know that different people have different taste.

Here is a screenshot-comparison of the mouse cursors from Plasma 4, Plasma 5 and Plasma 6 Dev (the latter ones were taken from KaOS):



My critical opinion:
I think it is no good decision to change the very unique outer shape of Plasma’s default mouse cursor…
One can distinguish the Plasma 5 Breeze and Plasma 4 Oxygen mouse cursors from e.g. Windows’, macOS’ or any other Linux DE’s by their shape at once. The new Plasma 6 Dev Breeze cursor not so much.

As small as it is, the mouse cursor is one of the things the user is inevitably and permanently being confronted with in a desktop environment.
At least for me the unique shape of “our” cursor has always been something I associated with KDE Plasma - it has been much more of a “branding” for me than for example the official Plasma 4/5 Desktop logos (the “cashew” with the three “dots” and the “bracket” with the three “dots”).
And even some Windows users have identified the Plasma 5 Breeze mouse cursor as “the Linux cursor” in my presence (this was not on my computers and in some cases the cursor was not even used in Plasma but in other DEs…).

Changing the mouse cursor’s colours is another cup of tea entirely IMHO.
This already has been done from Plasma 4 to 5 / Oxygen to Breeze for good reason (but the outer shape had been preserved!) and though the colours are not that important to me I indeed do understand why this has happened in Plasma 6 Dev.

Yes, I know that I will be able to change the mouse cursor to one of my liking, but I think the important part is with what cursor the user is confronted by default

What do you think?

PS: I am sorry if this already has been discussed somewhere, but I was not able to find anything.


Same opinions here, it lost its uniqueness and I really liked its shape. I was even planning on publishing the current 5 one on the store so I could keep using it. Someone else did, below.


I remember when we were finally technically able to do 3D cursors and icons and it was lauded as a step up. Then later, we went flat on everything. It was like a step back in time. I for one, was hoping this age of flatness was about to end. I would love to have the 3D and shape of the Breeze5 cursor with the new features of Plasma 6.

Think of it like bringing back the Cube. Who needs the Cube? No one. Why do we want it? Because we can.


Probably the Plasma 5 cursor is not that distinctive, anyway. I haven’t seen the change mentioned in any articles or videos about Plasma 6 Alpha. Nor did I notice it myself until you pointed it out.

That said, yes I prefer the old one too.

Hi. Thanks for this post! I agree with you and was actually thinking of making a post about the same issue.

I respect the decision to change, and it is always welcome to improve, but one of the things that I really didn’t like of the new features coming for Plasma 6 was the cursor.

I even made some comments on reddit when I knew about this. I think the new cursor is very generic for its shape and color. To me, the Breeze cursor is something that I see and think “Plasma, so beautiful!”. I read that the reason for this change was making the cursor less rounded so it could be more precise, but I think there is no reason to change the overall shape and color to do that.

I would’t mind so much if they made the current cursor available as built-in option, but when I commented no one answered.

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Plasma 5 cursor is beautifully distinct, sad seeing it go. I don’t get the changes related to making Plasma more similar to other environments (like switching to double click for opening files). People have the freedom to use those other environments, so Plasma should ship a Plasma experience, not a Windows or GNOME one.

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Please do not make accusations that are simply wrong, the point of updating the cursor was not to make it more like Windows or GNOME. From the discussion and the two bugs linked at the top the merge request this developer wanted to improve the contrast of the cursor and fix a few more issues along the way.

I’m sure the old cursor theme will be available on :slight_smile:

Well, the MR and bug reports mostly talked about the color and the tip of the arrow, while I guess what some prople miss (and a major part of “distinctiveness”) is at the back side of the arrow. What was change in this part trying to improve?

The linked bugs don’t seem to explain the need to change cursor shape.

There is no need to be defensive. I know I will be able to get the old cursor and I will. KDE makes a lot of awesome changes and it is inevitable that some will be disagreed with. What makes this situation perfectly fine is that we won’t be stuck with this new default and can customize it away.

My thoughts, exactly.

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In the meantime somebody has done this:
Breeze cursors from Plasma 5


From an a11y point of view, the worst thing that ever happened to UI/UI design was the choice to move to flat, depthless, colourless, “iconic” design. I will keep repeating this until I die, - the human eye responds to depth, colour, texture, - without that, cognition, and recognition, is impaired.

From the perspective of a visually impaired user, by the far the most frustrating thing is having to deal with “design fads” that don’t take into account basic principles of UX/UI design, whether it’s Fitts Law, or the above, - while the time and effort that people put in for free can’t be underestimated, without a professional understanding of the core tenets of design and architecting a usable interface, I will keep regressing back to themes that were designed over a decade ago, because they are visually functional.

I hope someone somewhere actually gets this point, because it’s been lost on the VDG.

Is this a response to the new cursor or…?

I can understand preferring the previous shape and the design ethos behind Oxygen, but a cursor is, in my humble opinion, not the right place to add depth and texture.

Also, it’s not like the difference is particularly massive

I like the colours with added contrast, removal of texture and sharpness of the new design.

I have got used to the new one and like it, but I think it would be good to see a version with the Oxygen pointer shape. The Oxygen pointer shape had character and reminded me of a little trowel that you could use to build and manipulate in the desktop environment!:

Bring back the trowel!!!

Looks good!:


For me it applies to the wider direction of default theming, of which a cursor is a very small (pun intended) part.

Please keep this thread on topic then :slight_smile: It’s specifically about the new cursor shape, not every VDG decision.

I’ve re-created the topic separately, so mods can happily remove my post if they deem it appropriate. My point still stands, and absolutely applies to cursors too.

The difference is quite massive… at least in my opinion.

Agreed. Changing the color for contrast purposes, sure. but the shape?? I loved the unique shape! In reference to paulm’s post, it still keeps the higher contrast black on the white, while also retaining the awesome shape! We all loved the old cursor!