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I am using the File Manager (default?) in Xfce 4.10. Apparently, some files do not have an icon:

enter image description here

How can you add icons?

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    cat $HOME/.config/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml/xsettings.xml | grep -i theme please edit your question for answer. – user192526 Feb 20 '17 at 15:12
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    Which distrie? lsb_release -a – user192526 Feb 20 '17 at 16:01
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    I ave the same distrie it mußt be there. cat $HOME/.config/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml/xsettings.xml | grep -i theme <property name="ThemeName" type="string" value="MurrinaVerdeOlivo"/> <property name="IconThemeName" type="string" value="OpenWorld"/> <property name="SoundThemeName" type="empty"/> <property name="KeyThemeName" type="empty"/> <property name="CursorThemeName" type="string" value="Adwaita"/> <property name="CursorThemeSize" type="empty"/> – user192526 Feb 21 '17 at 9:12
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    +1 While this question seems to be indirectly solved in linked question, this question is unique on its own. This could happen when trying to install Xfce from minimal packages. – clearkimura May 13 '17 at 7:04
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    Most likely, you did not install the recommended icon theme for Xfce. Other icon themes might work better. More details in my delayed answer below. – clearkimura May 13 '17 at 9:22
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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).

Xfce minimal desktop with no icon

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 (tango-icon-theme).

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.

  • Xubuntu uses "elementary Xfce" icon theme (Xfce 4)
  • Debian uses "Adwaita" icon theme (GNOME 3)
  • Kubuntu uses "Breeze" icon theme (KDE Plasma 5)

As side note, the "Adwaita" icon theme may be incomplete or missing in older releases of Debian packages i.e. Debian 7 (Wheezy) and Ubuntu packages i.e. Ubuntu 14.04 (Trusty).

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.

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