A great way to spruce up your Linux desktop is to change it’s icon theme. This is because most default icon themes are terrible. They’re uninspired, the icons are inconsistent, and program developers make it worse. To remedy this, users often go out of their way to find a comprehensive icon theme. One that replaces as many program icons as possible and fixes inconsistencies. The trouble is, finding out what icon themes are hobby projects, and what ones are worth your time. This is why in this article, we’ll go over the best icon themes for Linux. We’ll show you how to install them, where to download them from, what ones are the most complete, etc.
Not sure how to install icons? When you download a theme from the website, extract the theme archive and place the files in /usr/share/icons/. If this brief bit of instruction is confusing, don’t worry!
Addictivetips has a tutorial that explains in extreme detail exactly how to get custom icon themes on your favorite desktop environment. Additionally, if you’ve figured out how to install them, but are unsure how to apply the new theme for your desktop, we’ve got you covered. The article goes over how to customize pretty much every desktop environment out there.
1. Numix Circle
Introducing Numix Circle. It is, perhaps the most feature-complete icon theme out there. The Numix Circle theme brings uniformity and elegance to the desktop. It’s circular design and flat-form factor makes any desktop environment (Gnome-based or otherwise) look nice and consistent.
The best thing about Numix Circle is the project behind it. The Numix people have been working on Linux themes for a very long time. If you’re looking for an icon theme with good design, and support for virtually every single program on Linux, this theme should be your first stop.
2. Ultra Flat Remix
Flat themes are super popular. It’s understandable: this new design trend has everyone intrigued. Everyone in the tech industry makes use of “flat” icons, UI design, and everything in between.
When it comes to flat icon sets on Linux, there are many. That being said, not all of these icon themes are “feature-complete”. This means there are a lot of missing icons, and it makes for an inconsistent experience.
Ultra Flat Remix is very complete. Some would argue that it’s among one of the most complete (non-numix) icon themes available. If you’re looking to theme your Linux desktop so that it looks modern, and follows the current trend of “flat design”, do check this one out!
If you’re looking for a square icon theme, Moka has you covered. The design of the entire icon set is simple, yet elegant. It doesn’t follow any design trends, or fads. Overall, it’s just a really great square theme. Get it here.
Uniform is an icon theme that is the exact opposite of “uniform”. Each and every single icon is its own unique shape. It follows the ever-popular trend of making things flat and two dimensional. With all that said, Uniform still manages to stand out. If you’re looking to change things up, download Uniform.
5. La Capitaine
Despite the fact that Linux and Mac have little in common, it doesn’t stop creative developers and theme makers from taking heavy inspiration from Apple and macOS. There are countless Mac-inspired desktops, themes and even entire Linux distributions that aim to look Mac-like. When it comes to icon themes, no other pack does it quite as good as La Capitaine. Each and every Linux program has an icon that is inspired by the design of the latest versions of macOS.
Faenza: a tried-and-true icon theme with a clean, sensible look. This icon theme, aside from the ever-popular Numix themes, is the most complete icon theme a Linux user can install. Much like Moka, Faenza employs a simple square design. Each every icon is roughly the same shape. The similar shape makes this icon theme perfect for desktop environments that make use of docks, or icon-only panels.
All and all, Faenza is a great theme for Linux users who want a nice look, but don’t care much about design trends. Instead, by installing this theme, you’re getting getting a solid, complete theme.
Download more themes!
Don’t care for the icon themes in this list? Don’t worry! Places like Gnome-look, the KDE store and even Deviantart are great places to check!
Along with themes, icons make the desktop. A great theme with a terrible icon theme makes a Linux desktop look like trash. On the other hand, a great theme and a matching icon theme can change the way you look at your PC. Luckily, all of the icon themes on this list look great, and just installing them will breathe new life into your Linux setup! Happy theming!