How to install the Surfn icon theme on Linux

Surfn is a flat-style icon theme for the Linux desktop. It sports a clean design, and is very pleasing to the eyes, especially if you’ve grown tired of the default look of your Linux desktop.

The icon theme comes with several different variations, including Surfn Arched, Surfn Luv, Surfn Mint-X, Surfn Numix, and many others. In this guide, we’ll show you how you can get your hands on the theme to use as a replacement to the default icons on Linux.

Get Surfn icon theme

The Surfin icon theme is up on Github and available to all users. To get your hands on it, however, you’ll need to first install the latest Git package on Linux. Thankfully, nearly every Linux operating system supports Git, so doing it shouldn’t be hard.

Install Git

To start the installation, open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Then, follow the command-line instructions that match the Linux distribution you use.


sudo apt install git


sudo apt-get install git

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S git


sudo dnf install git -y


sudo zypper install git

Generic Linux

Git is available on most Linux operating systems. If you’re using a Linux distribution that isn’t on this list, head over to They have information on Git for even the most obscure distros. Or, check out the Git website if you’d prefer to install the program from the source code.

Download theme

With the Git client up and running on Linux, you’ll be able to download the latest release of the Surfn icon theme from the developer’s GitHub page. In the terminal, use the git clone command.

git clone

Allow the Git tool to download the source files to your computer. It shouldn’t take long. When the process is complete, use the CD command to move into the newly cloned Surfn folder.

cd Surfin

Inside the Surfin directory, run the LS command to view all the files in the folder. Take a look and ensure everything is as it shows on the Surfn Github page.


Assuming all the files are there, move on to the next section of the tutorial. Or, if you find that some of the files aren’t there, go back through the download instructions and re-run the git-clone command. It should correct any missing items that failed to download correctly.

Install the Surfn icon theme

The Surfn icon theme installs to Linux much differently than a lot of other icon themes that we’ve covered on Addictivetips. Instead of needing to manually place the files in /usr/share/icons or ~/.icons, it comes with an automated script that takes care of everything.

One thing you should keep in mind, however, is that the automated script only installs for a single user. To run the installation script, ensure you are in the “Surfn” directory. Then, do:


Or if the above command gives you issues, try:


Install system-wide

It’s quite handy that the Surfn icon theme comes with an installation script that sets everything up automatically. Unfortunately, it sets everything up in the home folder of the user that runs it, making it tedious if you want more than one user to access the icon theme.

Luckily, it’s possible to install the icon theme system-wide. To start the system-wide installation process, launch a terminal window and gain a Root shell with su or sudo -s.

su -

Or, if your Linux PC can’t use the Root account, run:

sudo -s

Now that you’ve got a Root shell move the terminal session into the Surfn code folder.

cd /home/username/Surfn/surfn-icons

Then, move all of the folders into the /usr/share/icons/ directory using the mv command.

mv * /usr/share/icons/

If the mv command is successful, the Surfin icon theme will be available to all users on your Linux PC.

Activate Surfn

Activating the Surfn icon theme is done through the “Appearance,” “Theme” or “Icon” section of the Linux desktop. To access these settings, open up the “System Settings” window on your Linux desktop environment.

With the settings window open, look for the option to modify system icons and click on it with the mouse. Then, browse the menu for “Surfn,” or one of the other Surfn icons included in the pack to apply it as the default system icon theme.

Need help activating the Surfn icon theme on your Linux computer? We can help! Take a look at the list below for information on how to apply icon themes for nearly all modern Linux desktop environments.

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