Changing icon theme is an easy way to give your Ubuntu desktop a new look and feel. In this post we show you how to install the Papirus icon theme on Ubuntu from a PPA. 

Why use the Papirus icon set? It’s not only nice well designed but boasts more than 1,000 icons and is growing. It offers colourfully designed glyphs for a crop of the best Ubuntu apps, including custom icons for Clementine, the Notepad++ text editor, Cawbird, VLC, and many more.

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The icon set uses a playful colour palette and feature a subtle raised edge, giving them a semi-3D look. It’s derived from Sam Hewitt’s Paper icon theme.

We wrote about the Kylin Icon Theme recently. This robust icon set offers a ream of rounded app icons, all of which adhere to the same ‘squircle’ design.

While this template helps creates a uniform visual consistency it also limits the familiar shapes and designs we’ve come to expect — and indeed like — of apps. VLC is a traffic cone, Clementine is an orange segment, system settings is a cog, and so on.

Papirus icon theme is just as comprehensive as Kylin and equally as modern looking. But it eschews the boxy rigidity in favour of free forms and shapes, delivering glyphs that look distinct yet maintain a consistent look and feel overall.

Installing Papirus Icons on Ubuntu

The Papirus icon theme is designed to work with Unity, GNOME Shell, Cinnamon and other GTK+ based desktop environments. A version for KDE users is also available.

To install Papirus icons on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS or later run this command in a new terminal window to add the official PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:papirus/papirus

Followed by this command to install the icon pack:

sudo apt install papirus-icon-theme

Once installed you can go ahead and change your icon theme to the Papirus icon pack.

Don’t know how? If you’re using GNOME Shell then the easiest way to do it is by installing the GNOME Tweaks app, which is available to install from Ubuntu Software:

Install GNOME Tweak tool from Ubuntu Software

Once installed just launch the app and, in the appearance > icons section select the ‘Papirus’ icon pack. The change takes effect immediately.

Themes Eye Candy Icons papirus