Thursday, 18 November 2010

Customise the Gnome menu icon

After a recent major error forced me to rebuild my Gentoo system, I was reminded of some of the small annoyances. Things that should be so easy, yet they can prove incredibly frustrating. One of these is the awkwardness of changing the menu icon in the Gnome desktop. I don't know why it cant be as easy as in the KDE environment; a couple of obvious clicks and then you are asked to select the new icon, dead easy.

First of all create the icon you want in my example I'm using Larry the Cow taken directly from the Gentoo site. Rename/save the file to start-here.png

The next step is to find the folder of the current icons your using. If your not sure which set of icons you have then click on system > preferences > appearance this will open up a window, select customise and then icons, note the name of the highlighted set.

The folder is /usr/share/icons/{name_of_icon_set}/22x22/places/ we need to move our icon into this folder, but the problem is that it is restricted access, so simply dragging the file won't work.

Open a terminal and navigate to our custom icon. Type:
sudo mv start-here.png /usr/share/icons/{name_of_icon_set}/22x22/places/

Some users have also had success putting the icon in the scalable folder instead of 22x22, if you wish to try this then simply replace 22x22 with scalable in the above command. Please note that the 22x22 is a size, the icon should have been resized previously to 22x22 pixels.

So the file is in position and nothing happens, you can even restart and there will be no effect. We need to input a couple of commands before it will change:

sudo gtk-update-icon-cache --force /usr/share/icons/{name_of_icon_set}

and finally:

sudo killall gnome-panel

The screen will flicker and you should have your customised menu icon.

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