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The github page for Arc Icon Theme says you can change what icon theme it inherits by editing the index.theme file. I found this file in /usr/share/icons/Arc-Icons and also /home/<user>/arc-icon-theme/Arc, and have edited both to:

[Icon Theme]
Name=Arc
Inherits=Numix Circle,Numix,Adwaita,gnome
Comment=Arc Icon theme
...

However, when I select the Arc Icons with Unity Tweak Tool, it shows the Arc Icons correctly but defaults the rest to the system's default icons. Numix Circle works fine on it's own, too.

I'm new to Linux so I'm probably missing something pretty simple.

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The package name must match the one inside the folder:

/usr/share/icons/

So, if you installed the theme using numix ppa you should change:

Inherits=Numix Circle,Numix,Adwaita,gnome

To:

Inherits=Numix-Circle,Numix,Adwaita,gnome
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you should try to reinstall theme and icons

this is the code to install the Arc icons

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:noobslab/icons
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install arc-icons

here are the commands for Arc theme

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:noobslab/themes
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install arc-theme

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