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How To Install The Captiva Icon Theme On Linux

The Captiva icon theme is a modern, square icon theme for the Linux desktop. The design of Captiva is very similar to the likes of Elementary OS, Moka, and Faenza, and it looks best on modern, Gnome-like desktop environments, application docks and etc.

SPOILER ALERT: Scroll down and watch the video tutorial at the end of this article.

Suffice it to say, if you use a dock on your Linux PC, this icon theme is the one you want!

Install Captiva Icon Theme

Getting the Captiva icon theme working is surprisingly straightforward on most Linux distributions, due to the fact that the developer provides installation packages (Arch, Debian, and Ubuntu) for the most popular ones. To install the Captiva icons, enter the commands below that correspond to your operating system.


Captiva is installed on Ubuntu via a Debian package. The reason users must install Captiva this way is that the maintainer of the icon theme has yet to update the PPA for modern Linux distributions.

This doesn’t really matter, as the package just contains icon files, and will work on any version of Ubuntu for the foreseeable future.

To get the package, you’ll need to use the wget downloading tool:

wget https://launchpad.net/~captiva/+archive/ubuntu/ppa/+files/captiva-icon-theme_0.5+50~201409220302~ubuntu14.10.1_all.deb

Now that Captiva is downloaded to your Ubuntu PC, you’ll be able to install it with the dpkg packaging tool.

sudo dpkg -i captiva-icon-theme_0.5+50~201409220302~ubuntu14.10.1_all.deb


Officially, there’s no Captiva third-party software repository for Debian. Luckily, that doesn’t matter, as the packages for Captiva work just as well with Debian as they do on Ubuntu.

Grab the latest version of the package from Launchpad with wget. Then, use the dpkg packaging tool to install the package.

wget https://launchpad.net/~captiva/+archive/ubuntu/ppa/+files/captiva-icon-theme_0.5+50~201409220302~ubuntu14.10.1_all.deb

sudo dpkg -i captiva-icon-theme_0.5+50~201409220302~ubuntu14.10.1_all.deb

Arch Linux

The Captiva icon theme, like many other icon themes, is available in the Arch Linux AUR. Start the installation process by syncing the Git package to via Pacman.

sudo pacman -S git

With Git working, use it to clone the latest Captiva AUR snapshot archive to your Arch Linux PC.

git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/captiva-icons-git.git

CD into the sources folder.

cd captiva-icons-git

Lastly, run the makepkg command to finish up the process.

Note: installing AUR packages via Git can sometimes cause dependency issues. If the Captiva icon package fails to build, you may be missing dependencies.

makepkg -si

Fedora And OpenSUSE

Sadly, Captiva doesn’t have an RPM package ready for users of RedHat-based Linux distributions. If you’re on OpenSUSE, Fedora, and others, you’ll need to skip on down to the traditional, generic installation instructions.

Generic Linux

Installing the Captiva icon theme without a binary package isn’t as easy as downloading an installable package, but it gets the job done. Keep in mind that going this route means whenever there’s an update to Captiva, manual installation is required.

The icon theme is available on the developer’s Github page. Cloning the Captiva icon theme directly from Github works quite well and is a great way to install icons, as it skips over the annoying process of extracting Zip and Tar archives.

To download it, install the “Git” package on your Linux PC. Then, open up a terminal and use the git clone command to grab the files.

git clone https://github.com/captiva-project/captiva-icon-theme.git

With the icons on your Linux PC, the installation process is ready to begin. Start out by moving the terminal shell into the new captiva-icon-theme folder.

cd captiva-icon-theme

Inside the Captiva icon source directory, you’ll notice some files and folders. Disregard everything, except for the Captiva sub-folder. This sub-folder contains everything that the system needs to correctly display the icon theme.

Finish up the installation by using the mv command to move it into place.

sudo mv Captiva /usr/share/icons/

Alternatively, if you’re not interested in making this icon theme available system-wide, try the “single-user” method. Keep in mind that you’ll need to repeat this process for every user on the system that wishes to use Captiva.

mkdir -p ~/.icons
mv Captiva ~/.icons

Activating Captiva

Now that the Captiva icon theme is installed on Linux, it’s time to enable it. To enable it, go to the settings area of your Linux desktop. From there, look for “appearance,” “icons,” or something similar. In the icon menu, select “Captiva” from the list and it should instantly activate on the desktop.

Having trouble figuring out how to enable the Captiva icon set on your Linux PC? If so, do yourself a favor and check out the list of links below for guidance. Each link goes over, in detail, how to customize several aspects of the Linux desktop. With it, you’ll have no issue learning how to enable this new theme!

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