Icon theme packs and theme sets are the easiest way to adapt the look and feel of your operating system to your taste. By extension, it is also the quickest. What is convenient about employing icon themes is the fact that you need not make any significant changes to your machine. Just install the icon pack you want (preferably along with a fitting theme), set your wallpaper, and that’s it.
Today’s focus is on the 10 best exceptional icon themes you can apply to your Ubuntu or similar distro irrespective of your desktop environment.
The following are listed in no particular order.
WhiteSur is a macOS Big Sur style icon theme. It is my favorite macOS theme for Ubuntu desktops because of how well it nails the Apple aesthetic.
The most reliable way to install WhiteSur is on GNOME-Look.
2. Flat Remix
Flat Remix icon is a material design-inspired icon theme. Its icons are mostly flat with a colorful palette, highlights, some shadows, and gradients for depth.
$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:daniruiz/flat-remix $ sudo apt-get update $ sudo apt-get install flat-remix-gnome
Lüv is a beautiful flat-style icon theme. It is the successor to Flattr that maintains its eye candy minimalist icons without a background.
Follow the download instructions on GitHub.
We10x is a Microsoft-style icon theme. Although it is not an exact clone of Microsoft’s icon base, it applies the Redmond giant’s flexibility and is able to independently fit the aesthetics to match.
To install We10x icons on Ubuntu first download the latest version of the pack from here.
Extract the archive when the download is complete and move it to the hidden
~/.icons folder in your Home directory. Create this directory if it doesn’t exist.
5. Numix Circle
Numix Circle is an icon theme developed by the Numix project which is responsible for other beautiful icon sets and themes.
$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:numix/ppa $ sudo apt-get update $ sudo apt-get install numix-icon-theme-circle
Oranchelo is a flat-design icon theme inspired by Corny icons. It features background-less icons and flat long shadows.
$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:oranchelo/oranchelo-icon-theme $ sudo apt-get update $ sudo apt-get install oranchelo-icon-theme
Papirus is an open-source SVG icon theme. Although it is based on Paper Icon Set, it features tons of new icons and other extras like support for folder colors, KDE colour scheme, Hardcore-Tray support, etc.
$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:varlesh-l/papirus-pack $ sudo apt-get update $ sudo apt-get install papirus-gtk-icon-theme
$ sudo snap install tela-icons
How to Install Icon Themes on Ubuntu
Some of the listed icon themes need to be manually installed. Don’t get worked up yet; the process is easier than it sounds.
Start by downloading the latest version of the icon theme. Depending on the packaging this may come as a zip file or a
.tar.gz — but it doesn’t matter. Extract the archive when the download completes.
Lastly, move the top-level folder inside the extracted folder to the hidden
~/.icons folder in your Home directory. Create the directory in that location if there isn’t one already.
Ctrl + H to show/hide hidden files and folders on Ubuntu and you’re good to go. You can use the GNOME Tweak app or Linux Mint appearance tool to set your theme. These apps enable you to make changes to your UI and see the effect in real-time.
Have fun styling your desktop!