How to install macOS Catalina icon theme on Ubuntu

In today's tutorial, we will show you step by step guide on how to install the macOS Catalina icon pack, which is a theme inspired by Apple's macOS.

Ubuntu’s default icons look great, but if you want to jazz it up with a shiny macOS inspired theme, you have come to the right place. In today’s tutorial, we will show you step by step guide on how to install the macOS Catalina icon theme.

Installing the macOS Catalina icons on Ubuntu

Before we can start in the installation process, you have to make sure that your system is up-to-date using the following commands:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

Download macOS Catalina Icon Pack

Step 1. The Icon pack is available to download from the ‘Gnome-look’ website.

Step 2. Scroll down until you find the download section.

Download The MacOS Catalina Icons
Download the macOS Catalina Icons

Step 3. Now you will be redirected to the download page. In this page, there are two download files:

  • “Os-Catalina-Night.tar.xz” –> This for the dark style icons.
  • “Os-Catalina-Icons.tar.xz” –> This for the classic or standard style icons.

Download Options For The MacOS Icons
Download Options

Choose the one you need and download it.

Step 4. After selecting the macOS Catalina style, your pack should be available in a bit. Press the Download button to continue.

Download Confirmation For The MacOS Catalina Icons
Download Confirmation

Step 5. After the download completes successfully, you can open your terminal window and navigate to the Downloads directory.

cd Downloads

Move To The Downloads Directory
NAvigate to the Downloads directory

Step 6. Next, we will extract the download archive using the following command.

tar xvf Os-Catalina-Night.tar.xz

Extract The MacOS Icons
Extract the icon pack

Step 7. After the extraction completes successfully, you will find a new directory is created. This directory contains the icons.


New Directory Will Be Created After Extraction Finishes Successfully
Extraction complete

Step 8. Now to install the icons there are two methods, let’s explore the two ways:

Method 1: Install the icons for the current user.

Create a directory in the current user home using the following command:

mkdir -p /home/hendadel/.icons

Create New Directory For The MacOS Icons
Create New Directory

Next, let’s move the icons to the newly-created directory.

mv Os-Catalina-Night /home/hendadel/.icons/

Move The MacOS Icons To The New Directory
Move The Icons To The New Directory

To ensure that the macOS Catalina moved successfully, use the following command.

ls /home/hendadel/.icons | grep 'Catalina'

Ensure The MacOS Icons Moved Successfully
Ensure The Icons Moved Successfully

Method 2: Install the icons for all the system users

To use the icons for all the system users, you will have to move them to the ‘/usr/share/icons’ using the following command:

sudo mv Os-Catalina-Night /usr/share/icons/

Install The MacOS Icons For All System Users
Install The Icons For All System Users

To ensure a successful move, use the following command.

ls /usr/share/icons/ | grep 'Catalina'

Ensure The MacOS Icons Moved Successfully To All Users Icons Directory
Ensure Icons Moved Successfully To All Users

Step 9. Now to enable the icons, we need to install the gnome tweak tools first using the next command:

sudo apt install gnome-tweak-tool

Install Gnome Tweak Tools
Install Gnome Tweak Tools

Step 10. To open the gnome tweak tools, use the following command from your terminal:


Open The typecatcher Application
Open The typecatcher Application

The gnome tweak tool will look like the below screenshot:

The Gnome Tweak Tool Interface
The Gnome Tweak Tool Interface

Step 11. Open the Appearance tab from the left panel. Then from the right panel search for the icons menu, open it and search for the new icons and select it.

Choose The MacOS Catalina Icons
Choose the download

Now you can take a look at your new macOS Catalina icons!

The MacOS Catalina Icons Installed Successfully
Installation Successful

Enjoy your new looking desktop!

Hend Adel
Hi! I'm Hend Adel, a freelancer technical geek with successful experience in Database, Linux and many other IT fields. I help to build solutions to suit business needs and creating streamlined processes. I love Linux and I'm here to share my skills via FOSS Linux! Thanks for reading my article.


  1. I’m so happy I spent all that time following the directions to the “T” to have it look exactly like it did before I started.


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