Get rid of special folder icons

Hello guys!

I recently upgraded to Tumbleweed (but on 12.2 the problem is the same). I love Tango icons, not a big deal, but it seems like, that the “special folder icons” (i.e. Downloads, Pictures, Music directories in your home) - that Tango does not have special icons for - keep coming from the icon set mentioned in the title.

On this image, you can see the unwanted icon on the left, and the preferred stock directory icon on the right.

You would say, and I also thought about it - to delete all other icon pack packages from the system, but I do not want to get rid of all icons. Just those special ones.

How this works (or how I thought it works) is you have special folder icons in the theme, like:


Now Tango icons do not have such icons, so it seems normal that the system falls back to a theme that has them.

What I did is, I created a script to create symlinks to the default folder icon everywhere, where it is acceptible in the Tango directory, like:

/usr/share/icons/Tango/96x96/places/folder-music.png -> folder.png

That did not do the trick. Okay, why not, let’s delete all the special folder icons from all the icon themes, except Tango’s. Now the special folders appear with no icon - i.e. they default to the “unkown” or “blank” icon. So the system did not find the icons, and did not use the standard folder icon from the Tango theme.

The last thing I did was to write a script, that:

  • Creates special icons in all Tango directories as symbolic links to the existing stock folder icon
  • Deletes all special folder icons from all other themes, and instead, creates links for the Tango stock folder icon

if  `whoami` != 'root' ]; then
    echo 'ERROR: Please run as root, otherwise I can not create the links!'

SpecialNames='documents download music pictures publicshare templates videos'

pushd /usr/share/icons >/dev/null

for theme in `find -maxdepth 1 -mindepth 1 -type d -exec basename {} \;`; do

    echo "=== Processing theme $theme"

    pushd $theme >/dev/null

    for directory in `find -mindepth 1 -maxdepth 1 -type d -exec basename {} \;`; do

        if  -e "$directory/places" ]; then
            echo "Diving into $directory/places ..."
            pushd "$directory/places" >/dev/null
            echo "$directory contains no places directory. Skipping ..."

        if  "$directory" = 'scalable' ]; then

        if  ! -e "folder.$extension" ]; then
            echo "No folder.$extension in this directory. Skipping ..."
            popd >/dev/null

        for name in $SpecialNames; do
            if  "$theme" = "Tango" ]; then
                # Create links to folder
                if  ! -e "folder-$name.$extension" ]; then
                    echo "Linking folder-$name.$extension -> folder.$extension ..."
                    ln -s "folder.$extension" "folder-$name.$extension"
                # Remove icons, and link Tango folder icon
                echo -n "Removing folder-$name.$extension, and linking to Tango's folder.$extension - "
                rm "folder-$name.$extension"
                ln -s "../../Tango/$directory/places/folder.$extension" "folder-$name.$extension"
                stat "folder-$name.$extension" >/dev/null
                if  "$?" ]; then
                    echo "OK"
                    echo "WOOTWOOT"


        popd >/dev/null


    popd >/dev/null

popd >/dev/null

Still have the unwanted icons… Any idea?

EDIT: I am on xfce with the thunar file manager.


yes, i think have an idea.

look at /usr/share/icons/Tango/index.theme

and look at the line where it says Tango must inherite icons from gnome. comment (##) this line.

that did the trick in my case (xfce 4.8, debian wheezy)

P.S: dont know if it makes sense doing that, but i read in a thunar documentation that you set up the icon theme doing the following:
in the /home/name/.gtkrc-2.0 file (if it doesnt exist, create it)

gtk-icon-theme-name = "Tango"