I know that there are many icon theme packages, but really, I think Ubuntu should be able to provide vectorized icons with any settings found in the system. So please no third party packages for the task.

System Ubuntu 14.04 on Macbook Air 2013-mid natively, Linux kernel 4.2.0...-generic, display resolution is 1440x900. I really would like to have vectorised images. In Settings

  1. Displays > Scale for menu and title bars: 0.875 which makes the icons rasterized and blurry.
  2. Appearance > Launcher icon size less than 30. Etc 28 and 24. I cannot reproduce the effect with bigger icons.

The effect is independent of

  1. Default theme. You choose Ambience (default), Radiance and High Contrast in Settings > Appearance > Theme. My examples are with High Contrast.
  2. Background. Choose anything you like. I am using a "space" background in the examples.

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How can you have Vectorized Unity Icons in Ubuntu 14.04 by Defaults?

  • 1
    Is it a specific icon theme? May 30, 2016 at 15:35
  • 1
    The Firefox icon is not the default! May 30, 2016 at 15:37
  • 1
    @Masi To install icon themes askubuntu.com/questions/116/… for numix noobslab.com/2014/04/…
    – Mark Kirby
    May 30, 2016 at 15:43
  • 2
    @Masi To address your edit, could you at least try changing the icon theme, it seems to all commenter so far that that is a potential issue, how can we know about you issue if you just dismiss trouble shooting steps without even trying?
    – Mark Kirby
    May 30, 2016 at 15:49
  • 2
    @Masi Also could you try without high contrast as Jacob said?
    – user423626
    May 30, 2016 at 15:59

1 Answer 1


The default icon theme in Ubuntu does use mostly vector (SVG) icons. For smaller sizes though, icons tend to be raster images, in order for the icons to be pixel perfect.

However, all graphics are going to be rendered into pixels for display. When you scale them to odd sizes, there are going to be artifacts, even for SVG icons.

For the best looking app icons in the launcher panel, make sure the launcher icon size is set to a value which is a multiple of 8, such as 32 or 48 pixels.

  • 16 is too little. 32 is too big. Why so big gaps? Why not multiple of 2? I cannot understand why it cannot be implemented. To restrict users from using what they want is not the way to go. I need small icons to save space. Who is doing the algorithms of small icons? It is just a signal processing implementation. A piece of cake to maintain the actual content in vector format even with smaller images. May 30, 2016 at 20:56
  • 2
    Then set it to 24 if that's what you want. All the icons in my launcher look fine with it set to 24 here. And pick a theme that has proper icons at the size you want to use; or make your own theme.
    – dobey
    May 30, 2016 at 21:00
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    While I'll agree that perhaps the slider is not a good widget for selecting the launcher icon size, and it should be a drop-down instead with a set of hard-coded values, the fact is that it is not a "caveat of Ubuntu." There are too many variables, such as what theme is in use, what display is in use, etc… for any sort of "well, this is a bad choice for you" warning to be in the program. It's a subjective decision the user must make, and which is immediately evident from the icon rendering anyway.
    – dobey
    May 30, 2016 at 21:08
  • Well, that's your opinion. I don't know what you think is a bug, but there is no "algorithm" that will fix your complaint.
    – dobey
    May 30, 2016 at 21:11
  • 1
    @dobey good thinking, but I am not sure it is true. 28 px: dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/1155139/28.png May 31, 2016 at 6:12

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