How to change icon theme in i3? If this matters, I'm working on Arch Linux. I googled, but I can only find info about GTK theme, not icons.


I can think of at least 2 options you can choose from:

1. use LXAppearance

LXAppearance can change the GTK2/3 icons (and themes, fonts, etc.). LXAppearance is part of the LXDE desktop environment, but as you can see on the package page, its dependencies are only dbus-glib and gtk2.

I prefer using LXAppearance because it gives access to all important theme-related settings but is still very lightweight.

2. Edit config files directly

You can change ~/.gtkrc-2.0 and ~/.config/gtk-3.0/settings.ini directly (the former for icons in GTK2 applications, the latter for GTK3 applications) - the setting you're looking for is gtk-icon-theme-name in both cases.

For GTK2, you can just add a line like


to the file, for GTK3 the line needs to be inside a [Settings] section like


You can find the name of the theme by looking at the Name property inside its index.theme file.

  • But what variable to set in that files? – enedil Aug 18 '14 at 21:17
  • @enedil I've updated myanswer with that information. – Wieland Aug 18 '14 at 21:28
  • If you are using Gnome along with i3 you can also use the gnome-tweaks app. – Andrew Young Sep 18 '19 at 6:58

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