Bored with the same old look of Ubuntu? Why not try one of the best Ubuntu themes listed here?
Icon themes are the best and perhaps the easiest way to change the looks of your Ubuntu desktop. It literally transforms the entire look of your desktop. If you don’t know where to begin, don’t worry. In this article, I’ll show you the best icon sets for Ubuntu and how to use them.
I have written this article keeping Ubuntu/Pop!_OS in mind but almost all the icon themes should work for other Linux distributions and desktop environments as well.
How to install new icon theme in Ubuntu
Before we see our list of best icon themes for Ubuntu, let’s first see how to change the icons in Ubuntu.
I have already written in detail about how to change themes in Ubuntu 18.04. The steps are same here. There are basically two ways you can install icon themes in Ubuntu:
- Downloading the theme manually and extracting them in ~/.icons (you need to enable hidden files to access it, if it’s still not there, create a .icons folder in the /home directory)
- Installing the themes via a PPA (run some commands, we’ll see it later)
Once you have installed the icons, you can use Unity Tweak Tool in Ubuntu 16.04 and GNOME Tweaks in Ubuntu 18.04 to change the icons.
Ubuntu 18.04/19.10 users can refer to this video to see how to change icons and themes:
Best icon themes for Ubuntu and other Linux distributions
Okay! Enough talks. Let’s see the list of best icon themes for Ubuntu.
25. Candy Icon Theme
This is a really attractive icon set with colorful icons. You should find it good enough for dark mode themes.
If you do not prefer colorful icons, you might may not like it at all. But, it’s one of the best icon themes out there!
24. Avidity Icon Theme
A perfect icon pack to blend in with dark mode themes – you have a couple of different color shades available when trying to download the files.
Simply extract the archive to the hidden .icons folder to get it installed.
23. Tela Icon Theme
Yet another impressive icon pack – this should blend in with both dark/light GTK themes you have installed (in case). The flat color designs for the icons do make your distro look good.
Simply extract the archive you downloaded and move it to the hidden .icons folder to install it.
22. Marwaita Icon Theme
A color icon set that goes well with both the dark mode and light mode as well. You should find more icons for all your essential applications on Linux. Try it out!
21. Simple Circles Icons
A lot of color choices with this icon set. As the name suggests, it’s just circle outlines for all your icons in your Linux distro.
So, if you’re a fan of circle-shaped simple icons, do give this a try.
This may not be my personal favorite – but if you’re going for a decent looking icon set, which isn’t much flashy, you can give this a try.
It’s pleasant to the eyes and not so colorful – so if you want that, you’re in for a treat.
19. Aurora Nuevo Icons
If you’re a fan of simplicity but just want different colors to your icon set, this is worth taking a look.
You may notice that the icon pack does not include a lot of icons for new applications.
18. Oranchelo icon theme
Flat and fresh. Oranchelo is a colorful theme with support for a number of icons. It has some variants as well that provide different color accents to the Nautilus folder icons.
In Ubuntu based distributions, you can use the official PPA to install this theme:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:oranchelo/oranchelo-icon-theme sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install oranchelo-icon-theme
17. Vibrancy Colors icon theme
Vibrancy Colors is a modern and clean icon theme. It is composed of beautifully rounded icons with flat touch. There are a number of variants of this icon theme that give you more option in customizing the looks of your system.
You can install Vibrancy Colors icon theme using its official PPA:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ravefinity-project/ppa sudo apt update sudo apt install vibrancy-colors
16. Masalla icon theme
Masalla icon theme is flat themes with vivid colors. Take a look at this beautiful icon theme.
You can download the .deb file for installing Masalla icon theme in Ubuntu:
15. Obsidian icon theme
Obsidian is based on once hugely popular Faenza icon theme. But it’s been years since Faenza has not been updated. And thus comes Obsidian in the picture to continue the legacy of Faenza icon theme. It also has an accompanying GTK theme.
You can easily install the Obsidian icon theme using this PPA:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:noobslab/icons sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install obsidian-1-icons
14. Evolvere icon theme
If you like vibrant colors, Evolvere is the icon theme for you. This icon theme comes in several variants to give you more icons in beautifying your Linux desktop.
You can download it from the link below:
Once downloaded, extract it to ~/.icons folder.
You can get it from its GitHub repository:
Once downloaded, extract the downloaded file. If you are using Unity or GNOME, you should copy the Compass folder to ~/.icons. If you are using KDE, copy the Compass-KDE folder to ~/.local/share/icons.
12. Shadow icon theme
Shadow icon theme is next on our list. The current trend of flat icons with a little shadow has beautifully captured in Shadow icon theme.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:noobslab/icons sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install shadow-icon-theme
11. La Capitane
This one is for macOS fans. La Capitane icons are inspired by macOS El Capitan icons. The icons look beautiful, no doubt about it. You can download La Capitane theme from its GitHub directory.
You can download La Capitane theme from the link below:
You should extract the download file to ~/.icons directory in order to be able to use it.
10. Vivacious Colors icon theme
Colorful, vivid and beautiful. Vivacious Colors definitely deserves to be on our list of best icon themes.
You can install it using the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ravefinity-project/ppa sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install vivacious-colors
9. Square 2.0 Icon pack
Square and flat. Square 2.0 is another beauty that you can try.
Use the commands below to install it:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:noobslab/icons2 sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install square-icons
8. Xenlism Wildfire icon theme
Minimalist? Honestly, Xenlism is more vivid and colorful than minimal. Don’t you think the same?
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
7. Dalisha icon theme
Delicious Dalisha icon theme is full of vibrant color. It may even be a bit of cheeky depending on your test.
Use the commands below to install it:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:noobslab/icons sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install dalisha-icons
6. Uniform icon theme
The next position is taken by the flat and fabulous icon theme, Uniform. Don’t go by the name Uniform. These icons are hardly uniform.
You can use the commands below to install it:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:noobslab/icons2 sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install uniform-icons
Now, we are moving ahead to the top five positions. At number five, we have Moka. Sam Hewitt‘s theme Moka is a gem. You would agree when you look at the screenshot below:
You can use the commands below to install Moka icon themes in Ubuntu:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:moka/daily sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install moka-icon-theme
The next in our list of best icon themes for Ubuntu is Numix. You can guess the popularity of Numix theme suite from the fact that it is the default theme in several Linux distributions including Antergos and Korora Linux.
You can install Numix icon theme in Ubuntu using the commands below:
sudo apt-add-repository ppa:numix/ppa sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install numix-icon-theme-circle
Number three spot has been taken by Paper icon theme.
Paper theme suite is developed by Sam Hewitt, the developer of Moka theme. It is inspired by Google’s material design. This flat icon theme will remind you of Android.
You can use the commands below to install Paper icon themes in Ubuntu:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:snwh/pulp sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install paper-icon-theme
2. Papirus icon theme
Papirus is based on the material theme inspired Paper icons. It is more polished and refined, bringing out the best of Paper icons.
You can install this icon theme using the official PPA:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:papirus/papirus sudo apt update sudo apt install papirus-icon-theme
1. Pop icon theme
This is my favorite icon theme and this is why it took the top spot here. It is developed by System76 for its own Linux distribution Pop!_OS.
Combine it with its GTK theme and it gives your Linux desktop an astonishing look.
You can install it using its official PPA:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:system76/pop sudo apt update sudo apt install pop-icon-theme
What do you think of this list of best icon themes for Ubuntu 19.10 or 18.04? Which one is your favorite icon pack on Linux?