How to manually change icons for alien app in F33/Gnome

Hello all,

I use a paid for and licensed application in Fedora 33 with Gnome that is distributed in a .deb package. Previously, there has been no problem in using it. I did the “alien” conversion to get an rpm package and “dnf” install on Fedora 33 with Gnome as the UI and had no problems using it until a recent update. The most recent update left the icons in Gnome blank. The positions and text of the icons (there are about 5 of them) are still there but the icons are not. Since they are all variations of the parent program and are truncated versions of the parent program’s name, the text isn’t nearly enough to tell them apart. You really need the icons to tell which one you’re running.

I questioned the publisher and he acknowledged the problem and said it would be fixed in the next revision and that I should just change them manually since the icons are distributed with the program. I can’t wait until the next revision. I right click on the icons and the only apparent option would be “Details” which takes me to “Software” which says there’s no information on that application. How does one manually change the icons of an “alien” added application in Gnome? I think I found where Gnome keeps its icons in /usr/share/icons/gnome/32x32/apps and /usr/share/icons/gnome/48x48/apps. Will dropping them in the respective folders get picked up there? How so, if they’re not explicitly named? Thanks for any suggestions or tips.


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Can you please elaborate on “just change them manually”. What does that mean. Are the icon files installed somewhere or are they not installed at all? Also, what icons are we talking about—the icon for the application or icons that are used in the application UI?

Ideally, your publisher should give you exact steps on what files to move where to fix the issue. Without us being able to know the exact details of the software, it’s quite hard to make suggestions. We’ll mostly be guessing :frowning_face: .

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I think what you search for is something like “Main Menu” - this tool allows you to create your own Desktop-Launchers and amend their Icons (tested with SVG-format, works fine):

> sudo dnf search alacarte
Last metadata expiration check: 0:17:16 ago on Fr 15 Jan 2021 11:33:40.
================================================================ Name Exactly Matched: alacarte ================================================================
alacarte.noarch : Menu editor for the GNOME desktop

The intent and the problem here is that the Gnome launcher icon is blank whereas it used to have an icon provided by the publisher. The publisher suggested I change it manually, meaning he suggested that I go into Gnome’s launcher and use whatever facility it has to alter whatever setting it has for an icon to manually change it to one of the icons supplied with the app (I think they’re PNGs IIRC). When I asked if he knew how to do that in Gnome, he replied that since he uses KDE, he only knows how to do it in KDE. He provided a screenshot where the pointer to the icon is altered in the KDE launcher and can be changed. So, what we’re talking about the icons that launch the apps from Gnome. The icons are and were installed in Gnome’s launcher - it’s just blank/empty/null now. When pointing and right clicking on the (space that was the) icon, only “Details” offers any hope and it refers the “Software” function where one selects what software one wants to add, update or remove. It says ‘No details on that application’ presumably because it was ‘alien’, not repository installed.

I suppose if adding a new launcher is the only option, I’ll do it but is it down to that? Is Gnome’s launcher so integrated that you can’t even address a lousy icon.


Desktop environments read .desktop files in /usr/share/applications and ~/.local/share/applications directories to show them in app menus. Look for your application’s desktop file and enter full path of the supplied icon file to the line starting with Icon=.


You may need to logout and login again.


Let’s hope Gnome 40 will finally allow to create custom / edit launchers and arrange all these icons on the dashboard

Thanks, ersen. That did the trick. I found the .desktop files for the suite of applications. There were 6, not the 5 I originally thought. Editing the “Icon” reference in each of the .desktop files to point to the correct icon for each fixed Gnome so it displayed the correct icon. Not that hard once you know what you’re doing. Thanks again.



I found this discussion very useful for me, thanks!

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