Feb 162012

Open Source Software like Linux is a great way to get an idea of what humans can accomplish – and provide for free – outside a corporate environment.

Of course, there are a few changes for those switching from Windows to Ubuntu and this post is my modest contribution to help this fantastic community project. I could not find this info on the web within 10 min googling so I reckon its worth posting it here.

To add or change an icon in Ubuntu:

  • right-click on the existing or default icon of the application
  • choose “properties”
  • click on the icon !! (this is not necessarily obvious if you are used to windows..)
  • choose the icon you like

Note: Ubuntu can use png files but not .ico files like in Windows.
You can either chose an existing icon or download an icon of your choice from an archive like this.
Remember that if you download it you can only copy it into a folder where you have permissions to access – of course.

Ubuntu Developer Sumit P at Orlando, Florida, 4 November 2011.

Ubuntu Developer Sumit P at Orlando, Florida, 4 November 2011. Photo; Sean Sosik-Hamor.

To see the permissions of a folder:

  • right-click on the folder
  • choose “properties”
  • choose “permissions”

If you see “root” you can’t (easily) and probably should not access it.

Instead, you could create your own custom icons folder.  For example under the yourusername/picture folder then it will stay with you if you move or upgrade your system.

I can confirm that this works on  Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) and suspect it works likely on all other Linux distributions.

If you found this info helpful or you can add something useful please leave a comment.

  4 Responses to “How to add or change an icon in Ubuntu / Linux”

  1. I have written a couple of beginers level tutorial around this subject for Linux Mint users, complete with numerous screenshots to make things easy to comprehend.

    Linux Mint shares a lot of attributes with Ubuntu, so these tutorials might be of interest to your readers.

    BEGINNERS LEVEL: Set up icons on your Desktop which link to specific internet webpages.

    BEGINNERS LEVEL: Jazz-up your shortcuts and icons with your choice of graphic images. http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/edit/2075

  2. Hi,

    The icon only changes for current file it doesn’t propagate to all the files which have that extension. Please let me know if you know how to change icon for all “.txt” files

  3. Thanks alot . it was really helpfulh . i was searching for such a thing for hours in google ….

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