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I downloaded the Faenza icon set and installed the "Dark" variant on my desktop.

However I only want the icons for applications (the ones that go in the Unity Launcher), I want all the other icons to remain stock. Here's a screenshot to illustrate:

enter image description here

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That would be quite a task I believe. If I could see it being done, maybe you would have to copy various folders from one icon theme to another, while keeping various mime types types and such. Sorry I can't be of much help, that's hard to wrap my brain around! I myself am STILL trying to replace my Diodon icon. – Alan May 3 '11 at 22:33
See also my answer to "How do I merge two icon sets?" – idbrii May 13 '11 at 18:35
up vote 10 down vote accepted

Here's a possible method for doing this:

  • Copy the folder containing the Faenza Icons to ~/.icons
  • Edit the index.theme file using gedit to inherit from the ubuntu mono icon set (for the panel), humanity, have a new name and comment, and to only point to the /app folders:
[Icon Theme]
Name=Faenza Humanity
Comment=Custom Faenza + Humanity Theme for Jorge Castro






  • Now select the new theme in gnome-appearance-properties.
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The top panel uses size 22 icons (places, apps). More details below.

Download the Faenza icon set from or another site to a local folder. Inside you will see several themes: Faenza, Faenza Dark etc. Basically, the first one is the whole theme that includes all apps icons etc. and it does not depend on other themes, and the others depend on the first (so, if you use, for example, Faenza Dark then you must install Faenza as well).

So, unzip Faenza. You may want to rename the folder to something like Faenza Modified. Inside there is a file index.theme. It has extremely clear structure that tells the system where it can find icons for apps, system tray etc.:

[Icon Theme]

  • Name=Faenza: you may rename it to Faenza Modified, for example (the name will appear in the Appearance>Customize>Icons list).
  • Inherits=...: tells the system which icons to use if not found in the current system (this is how, for example, Faenza Dark is made dependent on Faenza).
  • Directories=...: the list of all subfolders.

[actions/16] [animations/16] etc.

Contains the description for all icon subsets.

So, basically, what you can do is look into subfolders, decide which ones you want to exclude, and delete them from Directories=... line.

Now, Compress the new folder, and Drag'n'Drop it onto the Appearance window (make sure that the icon set with the same name is not installed, otherwise delete it). It will install the modified theme and asks you whether you want to apply the new icon set.

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