Using extra xdg icons?

Does anyone know how to set openSUSE up to use additional XDG icons? I downloaded a pack of icons from here that I’d quite like to use, but they’re not showing up at the moment. I’m assuming that they’re already named with the correct convention and I’ve put them in the right folder (.icons/TangoExtra/scalable/places - and the theme is being used) but I don’t know if they’re getting ignored because openSUSE isn’t set to check those conventions.


You can be pretty sure that conventions are met when installing icon-packs via the package manager.

zypper in tango-icon-theme

After that you can choose the iconset via the respective module from your desktop environment.

What about when the icon set isn’t available in the package manager and it is an add-on set of icons that override some fallbacks that openSUSE doesn’t use?

The range of icon sets in the package manager isn’t exactly fantastic, and the icons I linked to are extra xdg icons (downloads, pictures, music, etc), but openSUSE doesn’t seem to be picking them up for me. If you don’t have custom icons for the special XDG folders then it falls back to a normal folder icon (i.e. “desktop” and “home” have their own icon, but Documents and others on some distros have custom icons where as openSUSE is showing me the default folder icon for Documents).

In case it makes a difference, I’ve got an inherited set of icon themes: TangoGreen extends TangoCompilation extends (merges) TangoExtra and Tango 0.8.1. I put the icons in TangoExtra for now, because I still need to re-tint them.

The range of icon sets in the package manager isn’t exactly fantastic …]

I recommend using specific iconsets preconfigured for the respective desktop environment. There are resources which offer tons of complete sets.

And if those icon sets don’t contain all of the icons I want…?

Just about every icon set on Gnome Look and the like is missing some icons*, hence why I’ve got the inheritance structure**. All of those extra icons work fine for file types and apps, but these supposed XDG-compliant ones don’t, and I don’t know why.

  • Some miss more than others. Tango is quite complete, but others only cover about 10% of the icons and end up falling back to some default theme that really isn’t all that similar.

** TangoExtra contains a load of extra icons scraped from other sources that aren’t included in core Tango, like icons for Jar files, PHP, CSS, more app icons, etc.

And if those icon sets don’t contain all of the icons I want…?

Sorry, I can not help you with that - I usually take iconsets that are a) pretty and b) as extensive as possible, so there won’t be any “gaps”. I wouldn’t want to cope with the hassle of porting an iconset to my system, that is a lot of work.

As I said, 90% of the time it is really simple to add extra icons (e.g. the coding icons just drop in and go). It is only these XDG icons that aren’t being picked up by default.

I could manually change the icon on each folder myself through Nautilus, but since it is supposed to be able to pick them up automatically then I’d rather have the system do it properly. Unfortunately I don’t know what it is about the convention or config that isn’t quite correct so that they aren’t getting picked up.

I’ve still not managed to get this working, even with sets of icons from Gnome-Look that include screenshots of the extra XDG icons being used. Ubuntu must set up something that openSUSE and Fedora don’t.

For now I’ve manually set the icon for each folder, which looks okay in a normal Nautilus view but is ugly as hell in the tree, where it is scaling SVGs to 16x16. If anyone can tell me how to do it properly then it would be greatly appreciated.

It looks like openSUSE 11.3 might have this fixed. I’ve just upgraded (to RC1 then lots of package updates, so presumably it matches RC2) and now I get some of the icons auto-set. As I was also migrating across disks, I also copied a load of data and then did a quick diff to see what changed. One thing that I think changed is .config/user-dirs.dirs, which currently shows:

# This file is written by xdg-user-dirs-update
# If you want to change or add directories, just edit the line you're
# interested in. All local changes will be retained on the next run
# Format is XDG_xxx_DIR="$HOME/yyy", where yyy is a shell-escaped
# homedir-relative path, or XDG_xxx_DIR="/yyy", where /yyy is an
# absolute path. No other format is supported.

I could be wrong about that change, though, but the Gnome icon theme definitely shows tailored icons.

Also, if you’re using the icons that I linked to then you might need to rename “folder-downloads.svg” to “folder-download.svg” and symlink “user-movies.svg” as “folder-videos.svg”. If you want to use the Projects icon then adding:


to .config/user-dirs.dirs should work.