I am using the File Manager (default?) in Xfce 4.10. Apparently, some files do not have an icon:
How can you add icons?
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The mainstream desktop environments i.e. GNOME, KDE would include complete icon theme by default. Others may include fallback and complete icon themes as separate packages.
Icon theme in Xfce
When Xfce is installed from minimal packages i.e. installing a metapackage without recommended packages, icon theme would be missing. Most of the icons might be blank or using fallback icon provided by the minimal packages (similar to the following screenshot).
To check the dependencies for metapackage of Xfce, run the APT cache command and see the following output.
$ apt-cache depends xfce4 xfce4 Depends: xfwm4 Depends: xfconf Depends: xfce4-settings Depends: xfce4-panel Depends: xfdesktop4 Depends: thunar Depends: gtk2-engines-xfce Depends: xfce4-session Depends: xfce4-appfinder Depends: xfce4-mixer Depends: orage Depends: libxfce4ui-utils Suggests: xfce4-goodies Suggests: xfce4-power-manager Suggests: gtk3-engines-xfce Recommends: xorg Recommends: desktop-base Recommends: thunar-volman Recommends: tango-icon-theme Recommends: xfce4-notifyd
Alternatively, the package search result on Debian.org will show similar listing for respective releases. Either way, the recommended icon theme for Xfce is Tango (
Is this icon included
One way to check whether existing icon theme has dedicated icon for particular type of file, is to search in the
/usr/share/icons directory using
find command with relevant keyword.
The following is example output when looking for relevant icon for TeX document (as shown in the question) in the
mimetypes directories of any installed icon themes.
$ find /usr/share/icons/*/*/mimetypes/* -name '*tex.png' /usr/share/icons/gnome/16x16/mimetypes/gnome-mime-application-x-tex.png /usr/share/icons/gnome/22x22/mimetypes/gnome-mime-application-x-tex.png /usr/share/icons/gnome/24x24/mimetypes/gnome-mime-application-x-tex.png /usr/share/icons/gnome/256x256/mimetypes/gnome-mime-application-x-tex.png /usr/share/icons/gnome/32x32/mimetypes/gnome-mime-application-x-tex.png /usr/share/icons/gnome/48x48/mimetypes/gnome-mime-application-x-tex.png /usr/share/icons/nuoveXT2/128x128/mimetypes/gnome-mime-application-x-tex.png /usr/share/icons/nuoveXT2/16x16/mimetypes/gnome-mime-application-x-tex.png /usr/share/icons/nuoveXT2/22x22/mimetypes/gnome-mime-application-x-tex.png /usr/share/icons/nuoveXT2/24x24/mimetypes/gnome-mime-application-x-tex.png /usr/share/icons/nuoveXT2/32x32/mimetypes/gnome-mime-application-x-tex.png /usr/share/icons/nuoveXT2/36x36/mimetypes/gnome-mime-application-x-tex.png /usr/share/icons/nuoveXT2/48x48/mimetypes/gnome-mime-application-x-tex.png /usr/share/icons/nuoveXT2/64x64/mimetypes/gnome-mime-application-x-tex.png /usr/share/icons/nuoveXT2/72x72/mimetypes/gnome-mime-application-x-tex.png /usr/share/icons/nuoveXT2/96x96/mimetypes/gnome-mime-application-x-tex.png /usr/share/icons/Tango/16x16/mimetypes/gnome-mime-application-x-tex.png /usr/share/icons/Tango/22x22/mimetypes/gnome-mime-application-x-tex.png /usr/share/icons/Tango/24x24/mimetypes/gnome-mime-application-x-tex.png /usr/share/icons/Tango/32x32/mimetypes/gnome-mime-application-x-tex.png
In above output, there are three icon themes that provide dedicated icon for TeX document: gnome, nuoveXT2, Tango. Each icon themes may provide minimal or full set of icon sizes; This may affect the appearance of icons in various UI elements.
Which icon theme has all
Despite the recommended icon theme for Xfce is Tango, many distributions prefer to use own brand of icon themes. The following are different brands of icon theme used by some distributions.
Prefering other brands of icon theme would not mean the recommended icon theme i.e. Tango is any less incomplete. In fact, Tango project aims to create a cross-desktop icon theme that follow a standard and consistent style guide to look coherent and being adopted by many projects.
Above all, user can just install any icon theme available on Debian depending on the release.
TL;DR The recommended icon theme for Xfce was likely missing; Install it. Some distributions provide own brand of icon themes that are more complete.