Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Sunday, May 16, 2021 at 09:57

You may want to make use of icons or symbols which are bundled with Ubuntu but do not know how to get them. There are so many of them, for example, Firefox logo, even hardware symbols you can include in your designs or articles like you might saw often in Ubuntu Buzz. Then, this is where and how to extract them. 

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Where To Find Them

1. Open Files.

2. Click the Home address at its top or simple press Ctrl+L. This will open address bar.

3. Enter the address /usr/share/icons and press Enter. This will display the folders where icons of all applications stored. Please note that in Ubuntu, icons are divided into themes, named Adwaita, Hicolor, Humanity, Gnome, Yaru and more.

4. Enter the other address /usr/share/pixmaps and press Enter. This is the alternative place where icons of several certain applications stored.

5. For convenience, you can copy and paste the icon files to Documents folder as an example so you will find it easy to further import them to your illustrator or writing program. 


How To and Examples

As an example, to find icons of LibreOffice, in the first directory you can search (Ctrl+F) by keyword libreoffice and you will certainly find in multiple pixel resolutions: 

  • libreoffice-writer.png and .svg
  • libreoffice-calc.png and .svg
  • libreoffice-impress.png and .svg

To find icons of Apps, you can use keyword org.gnome you will find all GNOME Apps. A lesson may be learned here that is GNOME Apps have different names to names normally you see on the start menu e.g. Disk Usage Analyzer real name is Baobab and Videos real name is Totem.

To find symbols of hardware devices and peripherals e.g. CD drive and headphone, you can find it under devices directories in many themes. For example, under Yaru theme, there is devices folder. 

One more example, to find icons of Ubuntu itself (we know it by the name Circle of Friends logo) you can find it under a standard name distributor-logo.

Editable icons can be found with svg keyword or under directories with the name scalable. These icon files are stored in Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) format and can be edited with illustrator program like Inkscape. and this can be exported to Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) format which is compatible to popular program Illustrator or CorelDRAW.

Icons can be incorporated to your writings like in a blog or a writer document. For this purpose, it is better to use bitmap format (PNG) rather than vector (SVG). If you only had a vector, you can convert it first to PNG with Inkscape.

That's all and happy exploring!

This article is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.