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How to install the Suru Plus icon theme on Linux

Suru Plus is a revitalization of the Unity 8 icon theme that was implemented by Ubuntu (shortly before they canceled the project). With Suru, users can once again experience the Unity 8 icon experience on any Linux desktop!

Note: Suru Plus is best used on GTK+ desktop environments like Gnome Shell, Mate, and others. That being said, it can also work on Qt Linux desktops such as KDE Plasma and LXQt.

Download Suru Plus

The Suru Plus icon theme is open source and hosted on GitHub, so it’s easy to get access to it. However, as the icons are on GitHub, you will need first to install the Git package on your Linux PC.

To install Git, open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard and follow the command-line instructions for the Linux operating system you currently use.

Ubuntu

sudo apt install git

Debian

sudo apt-get install git

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S git

Fedora

sudo dnf install git

OpenSUSE

sudo zypper install git

Generic Linux

On a lesser-known Linux operating system and need access to the Git package? Open up your package installation tool, search for the “git” package, and install it. Alternatively, you can compile the package from its source code by visiting this page here.

Once you’ve got the Git tool installed on your Linux PC, download the latest code release of Suru Plus to your Linux computer using the git clone command.

git clone https://github.com/snwh/suru-icon-theme.git

The download may take a bit of time, as there are a lot of files to get your hands on. When everything is done downloading, use the cd command to move into the “suru-icon-theme” directory.

cd ~/suru-icon-theme

Compiling Suru Plus

Compiling the Suru Plus icon theme on Linux requires Meson. Look below to install it on your distro.

Ubuntu

sudo apt install meson

Debian

sudo apt-get install meson

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S meson

Fedora

sudo dnf install meson

OpenSUSE

sudo zypper install meson

Generic Linux

Meson is installable on generic Linux distributions via Python3. For more information, check out the official documentation here. Additionally, you can install Meson by downloading a package for your Linux distribution at Pkgs.org.

With Meson taken care of, use it to compile the Suru Plus icons on your Linux PC.

meson "build" --prefix=/usr

Installing Suru Plus

Installing the Suru Plus icon theme on Linux is a little different than other icon themes, as the source code doesn’t spit out a generic icon folder you can place anywhere you’d like. Instead, to use this icon theme, you’ll need to use the Ninja-build tool to install it directly.

Officially, the Suru Plus source code gives build instructions that will place the icon theme inside the default icon directory for Linux. However, it’s also possible to install it as a single user with some quick tweaking.

Install for a single-user

The developer of Suru Plus doesn’t set up the icons to install to the “~/.icons” directory by default. The reason for this is that most Linux users probably aren’t worried about setting up their icons for a single user.  As a result, we must manually move the files after the Ninja installer finishes.

To start the installation for a single-user, run the Ninja installation command and let it install to the default icon location as the Ninja build script typically would.

sudo ninja -C "build" install

The installation should fly by. When it’s done, everything will show up in “/usr/share/icons/Suru/.” From here, use the mkdir command to create a local icon folder, to use Suru as a single-user on your PC.

mkdir -p ~/.icons

Finally, install Suru as a single-user on Linux by moving the icon files from “/usr/share/icons/” into the “~/.icons” directory.

sudo mv /usr/share/icons/Suru/ ~/.icons/

Install system-wide

Want every single user on your Linux PC to have access to the Suru Plus icon theme? If so you’ll need to install it system-wide. Luckily, the Ninja build system makes this an automatic process. To do it, go to your Linux terminal window and enter the command below.

sudo ninja -C "build" install

Activating Suru Plus

The Suru icon theme must be enabled before you can use it. To activate it, open up the system settings on your Linux desktop environment, search for the “Icons” options, and enable it there.

Can’t figure out how to swap icon themes on your Linux desktop? We can help! Take a look at the list below and choose the link to the desktop environment you run. In each of these links, you’ll find detailed instructions on how to customize your icon settings.

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