There are literally thousands of icon themes around for Your Linux desktop, but most of them are designed for GTK+ based desktop environments like Gnome, Cinnamon, MATE, Unity, XFCE, LXDE and more.
Few of the works well on Qt based desktops like KDE, LXQt or Lumina desktop, few looks horrible, but most of them lacks important icons for Qt based applications, mostly file manager navigation icons, action icons and MIME type icons.
Best LXQt or KDE icons
As both KDE and LXQt are based on Qt, any icon theme designed for KDE should also work fine with LXQt. That's also true for other Qt based applications, if a proper Qt theming tool like Qt5ct is used.
There's many icon theme, but choosing a proper one is important. Icons should be contrasting with the background color to make them clearly visible.
That's crucial for toolbar navigation icons and button icons, if these icons are not recognizable, then it kills the usability.
So, lets find out some pleasing LXQt/KDE icons that works well with Qt apps.
It's from the popular Linux PC/laptop brand System76, a well designed flat icon theme.
System76 developed this icon theme for their Pop OS. However as it's open source, could be used on any Linux distro.
Here's the Official github repo for Pop icon theme, https://github.com/pop-os/icon-theme
You can install it either by manually downloading the icon theme and copying it to the
~/.icons directory, or use the PPA on Ubuntu and AUR on ArchLinux.
So, to install it on Ubuntu or any other Ubuntu based distro like Linux Mint, Elementary OS, use the command listed below.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:system76/pop sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install pop-icon-theme
Antu is a clean and flat looking icon theme for virtually all desktop environments, looks stunning for it's vivid use of color.
I've not fount any missing app icon till now, and all the action icons and emblems looks pretty polished.
Antu also provides some other KDE stuffs, two KWin decorations and two plasma themes, anyway they are great too.
Github repo for Antu > https://github.com/lucasnota/Antu-U .
Installation: For local installation through command line, You can use those commands bellow, assuming you've already installed git .
cd ~/ mkdir -p .icons git clone https://github.com/lucasnota/Antu-U.git mv ~/Antu-U/Antu/ ~/Antu-U/AntuDark/ ~/.icons rm -rf ~/Antu-U
Papirus icons are inspired by Google's material design, and looks pretty polished, well, the folder icons looks a bit creepy. Here the link to Papirus github repo.
Papirus pack not only provide a kde icon theme, it intended to change the look and feel of entire KDE desktop.
If you are using Ubuntu or Archlinux, installation is easy, a PPA is available for Ubuntu and AUR packages for Archlinux.
Installation on Ubuntu 16.04 : Add the PPA and update software repository,
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:varlesh-l/papirus-pack sudo apt-get update
Now Install the papirus pack,
sudo apt-get install papirus-pack-kde5
This will also install many KDE related components, you have to be a little hacky to install only the icon theme. Either clone the github repo or download the icons only deb package.
Emerald is a semi-flat looking icon theme for all desktop environments, fits well with Qt based apps. It's inspired by the Breeze icon theme of KDE 5.
You can download the icon theme from DevianArt, aft er downloading extract the 7zip archive to
/usr/share/icons to acctually use them.
Lüv is another flat icon theme for both Qt and GTK+ based desktops, looks neat and clean, it still needs some more polishing. Github repo > https://github.com/NitruxSA/luv-icon-theme .
Installation: To the latest Luv icon theme from github, you can use those command bellow,
cd ~/ mkdir -p ~/.icons git clone https://github.com/NitruxSA/luv-icon-theme.git mv ~/luv-icon-theme/Lüv* ~/.icons/ rm -rf ~/luv-icon-theme/
Bored with flat icon themes ? Faience is here, an icon set with rich design and glassy look.
Though it was designed for Gonome 3 , but works fine with KDE or LXQt, this icon theme depends on popular Faenza icon theme.
Installation: As this icon theme is a bit old, you may need to download the deb package and manually install it. Here the latest download link for the deb package.
Install it with dpkg after downloading and run apt-get install -f to resolve dependency related issues.
sudo dpkg -i faience-icon-theme_0.5.1_all.deb
sudo apt-get install -f
So that's it, a comprehensive list of LXQt and KDE icons , though it's missing other popular icon themes like Numix, but it's merely a personal choice, as I'm not great fan of those circular icons.
Hope you enjoyed those icons and let me know your experience/suggestion through the comments.
De Mets Bert says
Thanks for the list! There's some great themes.
I have found that on KDE Neon 5.10 the icon sets only get recognized by the system when I move them to /usr/share/icons .
The directory ~/.icons exsists, but putting icons sets there doesn't seem to work.
Arnab Satapathi says
Thanks for the tip !
Ops! I spoke too soon. All them have monochrome icons for the smallest sizes, he he he. Anyway, I'll give them several tries before choosing...
Yeah, icons bellow 24px are monochrome, Imy favorite is the Antu icon theme.
Thank you a lot for this article. I've finally found some alternative themes that also cover the icons that are specific of KDE. Because other themes seem to be fully aimed to GTK DEs, and the result is an ugly mix of themes.
I've got tired of the tendency, of the most recent themes, of including only monochrome icons for the smallest sizes (the ones used in tool bars, for example). I thought that some people went too far when they criticized that it was against usability. But now that I've started to try themes such as Breeze and Evolvere, I've realized that they were right. It takes more time to identify certain action or application at first sight, with monochrome icons, than with colourful ones.
I too like small monochrome icons, they looks more uniform and blends well grey colored themes.