Ubuntu – Kind-of messed up /usr/share/icons


i have a little problem with my icons on 12.04 😀 I was installing an application from a tar-archieve but the icons for that special application were missing. So I looked up the tar again and found a subfolder /share/icons/48×48/ which sould (and thats the point, it should, but does not) fit into /usr/share/icons.

So i just ran

sudo cp -Rf ./share/icons /usr/share/

That worked for the particular application (MonoDevelop 4). But now, various icons are missing like Banshee, Software-Center, Audacity, Adoure, VLC and so on… (but not all, half of them are still in place!)
I checked the permissions on /usr/share/icons and its all ok. What has gone wrong here and any ideas on how to fix this? Thnx 😉

Best Answer

  • My idea is to get the icons from the original ubuntu distribution CD. Here is the method for that.

    In case you have the installation CD lying around just mount it and move to mounting the squash filesystem (step 2)

    1. If you have the ISO image for your Ubuntu distribution, mount it in a temporary location using:

      mkdir /tmp/isotemp; sudo mount -t iso9660 -o loop /path/to/ubuntu-<version>.iso /tmp/isotemp
    2. Next create another temporary location to mount the squash filesystem (located at ) image at and mount it.

      mkdir /tmp/squashfs; sudo mount -t squashfs -o loop /tmp/isotemp/casper/filesystem.squashfs /tmp/squashfs
    3. Copy over the missing or damaged icons. One way would be to just copy everything using:

      cp -fr /tmp/squashfs/usr/share/icons/* /usr/share/icons/

      But I prefer copying only stuff which has changed using rsync:

      rsync -rvt /tmp/squashfs/usr/share/icons/* /usr/share/icons/

    This should restore your original icons. I'd also reccommend installing any 3rd party icons in your home folder ~/.icons/ and trying to see what went wrong there.


    Now the missing icons would be for the applications which install icons to /usr/share/icons when you install them but their icons are missing now. To find a list of all such applications and get the icons back you can use the script posted in this answer:


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