How do I assign an icon for programs which doesn't have any specific icons ? (ie. vncviewer, rdesktop, etc). Today it appears as a gray icon with question mark on the middle as a default icon in unity launcher.

3 Answers 3



  1. Open the text editor.
  2. Drag and drop an iconic link onto the text editor.
  3. Open a new tab in the text editor.
  4. Drag and drop the question mark icon onto the editor.
  5. In the first tab, replace the image address with the address of the image you want.
  6. Copy the link address from the second tab and paste over the link address of the first tab.
  7. Save the first tab under a new name somewhere on the Desktop.
  1. Select a .png file and copy/paste it to a location where you are not going to move it in the future.

  2. Open Files and browse to /usr/share/applications/ . Here you are going to find your applications and their different icons.

  3. Right-click the application icon that you want to change and from the pop-up context menu select Copy.

  4. Run apt policy gksu to check if gksu is installed. Install gksu if it is not already installed with sudo apt-get install gksu. Open the terminal and type gksu gedit and after it on the same line paste the location of the icon that you copied in step 3.

    In Ubuntu 18.04 and later gksu has been discontinued, so use this command instead:

    sudo -H gedit /path/to/file &>/dev/null 
  5. Select the new .png file from step 1, right-click it, and select Copy from the pop-up context menu.

  6. Paste the location of the .png file that you copied in step 5 in the line in the open gedit text editor that starts with Icon= .




  7. Save the change you made to the open file in gedit and close gedit.


I found a good answer to this question here: How can I change which icon an applet uses?

Edit the app's configuration to change the icon

Edit /usr/share/applications/diodon.desktop and change Icon=gtk-paste to Icon=/usr/share/icons/Faenza-Darkest/actions/22/gtk-paste.png

Note that editing system files is generally a bad idea. You might be able to copy diodon.desktop to ~/.local/share/applications/diodon.desktop and then edit it. I'm not sure if that would work.

For me I wanted to give Rubbyripper an icon, and this worked like a charm. I did edit the system file though. Didn't try the .local method.

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