Linux users are free to customize their system according to their preferences, including desktop theme and icons. There are many easy ways to create custom icons in Linux to change the look of your system. We will discuss the following methods for using custom icons:
- Find and install custom icons from trusted websites.
- Using the Tar command for a single user or system wide use
- Modernize your Xfce desktop with attractive icons
- Install the Linux Mint Cinnamon Paper icon theme
- Create an application shortcut in Ubuntu using the GNOME desktop
- Almost all open source projects, including custom icons, come from Github
- Gnome-look.org hosts high quality Gnome based icon themes.
- The art sharing community, deviantart.com, is known for high quality themes and icons created by its members.
- Users can download custom widgets from the official KDE store
- OpenDesktop.org is another reliable website for icon themes.
Find and install custom icons in Linux from trusted websites
There are many places on the Internet where users can download their own icon themes. Listed below are the websites that are trusted by the Linux community.
Browse through one of the websites listed above to find your favorite icon theme and download it. Right-click the archive to extract its contents and click here.
The file manager on your system will automatically create a folder and place the contents of the archive into it.
Enter the following command in a terminal to create a hidden icons folder in your home directory:
mkdir -p ~ / .icon
Find the downloaded icon theme, which is usually found in the download folder. Use the CD command below to get there.
cd ~ / Downloads
To install an icon there, move it to the hidden icons directory you created.
Replace the folder name with the theme of your icon in the above command between <>.
Use Tar Command for Single User or System Level Use
Search for an icon theme on one of the trusted websites listed above. Below is a screenshot of the icon pack from openDesktop.org.
Download the icon pack using the following tar command:
$ tar xJpf papirus-icon-theme-20190203.tar.xz
Then move the extracted folder with icons into place. If you are installing it for only one user, move it to:
~ / .local / share / icons /
Place the folder in the following system-side installation location:
~ / usr / share / icons /
Open a terminal and use one of the following commands, depending on the type of installation:
$ cp -r ~ / Downloads / papirus-icon-theme-20190203 ~ / .local / share / icons /
$ sudo cp -r ~ / Downloads / papirus-icon-theme-20190203 / usr / share / icons /
Select the “Themes” or “Appearance” tab.
Find the option to select the downloaded icon theme and select it to apply.
Update Xfce desktop with great-looking icons
Xfce is a popular Linux desktop environment because it is lightweight and works with limited resources. However, it looks old.
Customizing themes and adding custom icons in Linux can beautify your desktop and make it look more modern and fresh.
Go to Xfce-look.org to find and download a set of icon themes you like (such as the one below), extract it and place it in the .icons directory in your home directory.
To choose an icon theme, go to Settings> Appearance> Icons.
Install the paper icon theme in Linux Mint Cinnamon
There are two ways to install icon theme sets in Linux Mint. Downloading an icon theme and extracting it into the ~ / .icons directory was discussed above.
Open Terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T) and use the command below:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa: snwh / pulp
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install paper-icon-theme
After installing the icon theme, from the menu select “Settings” then “Themes”.
To find icons in Linux Mint, take a look at Theme Options. To change only the icons, not the theme, click Icons.
Here you will see all the available icons. Select the kit you want to use.
Create an application shortcut on Ubuntu using GNOME Desktop
The instructions below will also work for any other distributions using the GNOME desktop
Classic desktop operating systems include on-screen icons such as trash can, file manager, and application shortcuts.
On Windows, many programs ask if you want to create a shortcut on the desktop, but Linux distributions don’t.
Make sure you have the GNOME Tweak Tool installed and enable the Show Icons option.
To add shortcuts to the desktop, locate the .desktop application files. Choose Files> Other Location> Computer.
Then go to usr directory> sharing> apps. You should see other Ubuntu applications that you have already installed in this location. Look for the names of the .desktop files.
Find the application icon and either drag it to the desktop, or copy from the .desktop file (keyboard shortcut Ctrl + C) and paste to the desktop (keyboard shortcut Ctrl + V).
Instead of an application logo or icon, you will see a text file with a warning: untrusted application launcher.
Click Trust and Run. Not only will the application launch, you will also see that the .desktop file will now be the application icon.
If you are bored or tired of looking at the same user interface and want to use non-default icons, you can. Customize your icons following the guidelines above and update your desktop.