An icon is a graphical representation of something. It can be termed as being a symbolic thing or noted figure. An icon theme is, therefore, a combination of icons that share the same feel and look. Thus, when a user selects a specific icon theme, all the apps will look and feel as specified by the icon theme used.
In this article, we shall concentrate our findings on the top 25 icon themes for Ubuntu. If you are bored by the old Ubuntu look, then this is the right article for you.
Icon themes are the easiest way to change the look and feel of your Ubuntu desktop. Your Ubuntu desktop is transformed to your desired theme. If you are stuck and wish to give your Ubuntu a new feel, try out the tricks highlighted in this article.
Before beginning, you should know that there are two different ways of installing themes on your system:
- The first step is using command-line
- The second step is downloading the theme manually and extracting it to the ~/.icons (this folder is always hidden, and therefore, you need to enable hidden files to access it, and it is located in your home folder)
Older Ubuntu versions such as 16.04 and 18.04 use the Unity Tweak Tool and GNOME Tweaks to change the icons. Now let us dive deep into our topic of interest.
1. Pop icon theme
System76 developed this icon theme, and it is my top choice. Combining it with the GTK theme will give your Ubuntu desktop a stunning and marvelous look. Install it using the following command-line:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:system76/pop sudo apt update sudo apt install pop-icon-theme
2. Papirus icon theme
This theme is inspired by paper icons that are based on its material theme. The theme has a pleasing look since it is more refined and polished. This theme is beautiful and exciting since it brings out the best feel of the paper icons. Follow the steps below to install the theme to your system:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:papirus/papirus sudo apt update sudo apt install papirus-icon-theme
3. Paper icon theme
This icon theme was developed by Hewitt Sam, who is also the developer of the Moka theme. The theme is said to be inspired by the Google materials design. Are you a fan of Android, then this is the right theme for you as this flat icon theme will remind you of the Android feel?
Follow the steps below to install the theme to your system:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:snwh/ppa sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install paper-icon-theme
4. Moka icon theme
This theme was developed by Hewitt Sam, who developed the Paper icon theme. This theme is a gem, and you will agree with me when you look at the image below. Use the following commands to install the theme to your system:
sudo add-apt-repository -u ppa:snwh/ppa sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install moka-icon-theme
You can manually install this theme by cloning it from the repo on the GitHub page. You can follow this instruction to install it manually.
cd /opt sudo git clone https://github.com/snwh/moka-icon-theme.git cd moka-icon-theme sudo mv Moka /usr/share/icons sudo rm -Rf /opt/moka-icon-theme
5. Numix icon theme
Most Linux users are familiar with this theme since it is the default theme in most Linux distros, including Korora Linux and Antergos Linux. Numix Icon theme can be installed using the following command-line:
sudo apt-add-repository ppa:numix/ppa sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install numix-icon-theme-circle
6. Dalisha icon theme
The Dalisha icon theme is a vibrant font full of fancy colors. This fond is suitable for those who love fancy looks and feels. It might also be a bit overwhelming, but it there for whoever wants it. You can try it now and get Dalisha’s delicious taste now. Use the commands below to install it:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:noobslab/icons sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install dalisha-icons
Alternatively, you can download the Dalisha Icon theme here.
7. The Vivacious Colors icon theme
Are you looking for a colorful and vibrant theme, then your solution should be the Vivacious colors. This theme is colorful, and it deserves to be among the top ten best icon themes. Use the commands shown below to install the Icon theme to your Ubuntu operating system.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ravefinity-project/ppa sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install vivacious-colors
Step 1: Alternatively, you can manually download the file from here.
Step 2: After that, move the folder to /usr/share/themes for themes, and icons move the folder to /usr/share/icons, respectively.
Step 3: Using the gnome-tweaks tools, make changes, and enjoy the vibrant theme.
NOTE: You can download the .deb file from the file given above and use Ubuntu software to install the GTK theme without much strain.
8. Uniform Icon Theme
This is a flat but at the same time fabulous icon theme. However, the name uniform can be deceiving since the icons are hardly uniform in this Icon theme. Let us use the commands listed below to install the theme to our Ubuntu operating system.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:noobslab/icons2 sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install uniform-icons
Follow the procedure below to manually install the Uniform Icon theme to your Ubuntu operating system.
First, download the file here.
cd Downloads tar -xvf 'Uniform+ icons.tar.gz' cd 'Uniform+ icons'/ tar -xvf icons.tar.xz cd icons sudo mv Uniform+ /usr/share/icons/
NOTE: Please be patient as the file extracts since it takes a while to complete the extraction process.
9. Xenlism Wildfire icon theme
This icon theme is mainly referred to as a minimalist theme though some have distinct views concerning the theme. Use the commands below to install it:
sudo apt-key adv --keyserver keys.gnupg.net --recv-keys 90127F5B echo "deb http://downloads.sourceforge.net/project/xenlism-wildfire/repo deb/" | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install xenlism-wildfire-icon-theme
Download the icon theme from here.
After downloading, double-click the file, and it will be installed using software installed on your Ubuntu operating system.
10. La Capitane Icon Theme
Are you a MacOs fan? This is the right Icon theme as it gives the look and feel of macOS. Clone the icon theme into your Icons folder using the following commands:
cd ~/.icons git clone https://github.com/keeferrourke/la-capitaine-icon-theme.git
After cloning it, use the gnome-tweak-tool to change to your preferred theme.
11. Square 2.0 Icon theme
This is a square plus beautiful flat font that is worth a try. Follow the directives outlined below to install it on your operating system.
• Download the icon theme from here
• Locate the download folder, extract the files, then move the downloaded icon file to /usr/share/icons
• Finally, use the gnome-tweak-tool to change your theme
12. Evolvere icon theme
I know most of you love vibrant colors. This icon theme has several variant colors that give your desktop a beautifying effect. Try it now.
Download the icon theme from here, then extract it to the ~/.icons folder.
13. Shadow icon theme
This icon theme contains a shadow that is beautiful and has been widely loved by its users.
Download the icon theme from here, then extract the folder to ~/.icons and use the gnome-tweak-tool to change your preferred theme.
14. Compass Icon Theme
This beautiful icon theme was developed for Nitrux Linux. However, this theme can be used by other Linux distros. Just clone the icon theme from here and move it to the ~/.icons folder on your Home folder.
15.Vibrancy Colors icon theme
This is a modern icon theme composed of beautiful rounded icons. This theme gives your desktop a decent look and feel.
Download the icon theme from here and double click the .deb file to install it using software install.
16. Obsidian icon theme
The obsidian icon theme is base on the popular Faenza icon theme. A GTK theme accompanies this theme. Follow the directives outlined below to install it on your operating system.
Download the icon theme from here, then extract it to ~/.icons.
17. Masalla icon theme
This theme is flat, and it comes with vibrant colors. All you need to do is download the .deb file and double-click it to execute and install it on your Ubuntu operating system.
Click here to download the file.
If you are after simplicity, then this is the best icon theme for you. You can give it a try by downloading the icon theme from here, then extract it and move it to the ~/.icons folder.
19. Oranchelo icon theme
Do you want a flat and fresh icon theme? Oranchelo is here for you. It is a colorful theme that supports many icons. Its color variance makes your desktop look fresh and outstanding.
Download the icon theme from here.
Extract the file, then move it to the ~/.icons folder.
20. Aurora Nuevo Icons
The Aurora Nuevo theme is suitable for users who love simplicity. Try it now by downloading the theme from here. Extract the files and move them to the ~/.icons folder. You can choose which theme color suits you from the downloaded files.
21. Marwaita Icon Theme
The Marwaita icon theme is a colorful icon theme that blends well with both the dark and light modes. Download the icon theme from here, then move the downloaded file to the hidden ~/.icons folder.
22. Simple Circles Icons
Are you fond of changing colors? This is the best theme for your Ubuntu. The icon theme comes with a lot of colorful icon sets circular in shape.
Download the icon theme from here, extract the downloaded file and place it in your ~/.icons folder in your home folder.
23. Candy Icon Theme
Are you looking for a suitable theme for dark mode? Then I bet this will be your best suit. It comes with attractive icons that you should find interesting for your desktop.
Download the file from here, then extract the downloaded file to the ~/.icons folder and change to your preferred theme using the gnome-tweak-tool.
24. Tela Icon Theme
This icon theme is suitable for both dark and light modes. It has a flat color design that makes Linux distros look amazing.
To use the theme, download the file from here, then move the downloaded file to the ~/.icons folder.
25. Avidity Icon Theme
this is another icon pack that suits dark mode users. It comes with a couple of color shades that beautify your desktop.
Download the icon theme from here, then extract the downloaded file to the ~/.icons folder and change to your preferred theme using the gnome-tweak-tool.