Install Paper Icons and GTK Theme on Ubuntu – A Stylish Linux Icon Theme

Who doesn’t like customization? The flexibility of customization is probably one of the main reasons people prefer to use Linux over other operating systems. Ubuntu has a beautiful user-interface, but it also can let you customize its look. There are tons of themes available to customize Ubuntu and other Linux distributions.

We will learn how to install the paper icons theme on Ubuntu 20.10 Groovy Gorilla. We will also shed light on how to change and manage these themes.


  • Paper icons themes require GTK 3 environment, but if you have the latest Ubuntu on your system, then it will be installed by default.
  • You need a program to apply the theme to the icons.

Installing the paper icons theme

Before installing new icon themes, let’s have a look at the default icons of Ubuntu 20.10 Groovy Gorilla.


Now, to install the paper icons theme, you need to add its repository from PPA. The full form of PPA is “Personal Package Archive”, and if you don’t find a package from an official source, then you can use PPA. To add repository, open terminal and type the following command:

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:snwh/ppa


After installation, update the repositories using the following command:

$ sudo apt update

To download the paper icon theme, use the command given below:

$ sudo apt-get install paper-icon-theme:


You will not see any change in icons. To change the icons set, you need a program called “Gnome Tweak Tool”.

Downloading Gnome Tweak Tool

To download the gnome tweak tool, you need to have the universe repository installed in your system, otherwise, the terminal will give you an error.


To add the “universe” repository, type the following command in the terminal:

$ sudo add-apt-repository universe


Press “Enter” to install.


It is always a good thing to update repositories using the following command:

$ sudo apt update

To download and install the gnome tweak tool, use the command given below:

$ sudo apt-get install gnome-tweak-tool



Changing the theme of icons

Open the “Gnome Tweak Tool” app, and in the “Appearance” tab, click on the “Icons” drop-down menu, then you can see the paper option there.


Select the paper option, and all icons of your system will turn into a flat paper-like icon.


The paper theme will be applied to all icons. See the following image.


About the author

Sam U

I am a professional graphics designer with over 6 years of experience. Currently doing research in virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality.
I hardly watch movies but love to read tech related books and articles.

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