Breeze Icons in Plasma 5.4 and future work

Hi KDE and Plasma fans.

I hope you enjoy the plasma 5.4 release. The VDG investigate a lot into a consistent user experience and therefore we updated the Breeze icon set from 1.600 to 3.000 icons (plasma 5.3 to 5.4).


Of course the Breeze icon set isn’t finished but for the standard apps you will have Breeze all over the desktop (see KTorrent in plasma 5.3 and 5.4). In addition to the standard kde apps we also support some GTK apps like Firefox, Geany, LibreOffice, Inkscape and a lot of GTK 2 icons are included too. For KDE we now support 16px and 22px toolbar icons.

If you find a bug, please fill a bug report. Our last bug was solved with 380 new icons in 3 days. So making software better is only an bug report away.

KTorrent in Plasma 5.3 and 5.4

Ktorrent5.3 Ktorrent5.4

The Icon Problem

Freedesktop.org standardize the icon names so that if the user switch between Oxygen and nitrux or any other icon set the apps look consistent. So everything is fine if you don’t need any app specific icons. For example Lablot need an icon for a 3D graphic. This icon was app specific because freedesktop standardize only the most common icons. If an app needs an app specific icon the app developer has to make the icon and also ship this icon in the source. In KDE applications, most of the app specific icons use traditional Oxygen styled icons.

Plasma 5 and the VDG support two icon sets: Breeze and Breeze dark in addition Oxygen is available too. So each app developer has to support Breeze, Breeze dark and Oxygen in their application and have to integrate a method that the correct icon set will be used, otherwise you have the same problem as in KTorrent (see KTorrent in Plasma 5.3).


There are two solutions:

  1. Each App solve the problem themselves

Each app have to make there app specific icons for Breeze, Breeze dark (and Oxygen). In addition each app have to look at the system settings whitch icon should be used.

  1. The app specific icons were included into the main icon sets

For Plasma 5.4 I added most app specific icons from the standard applications into the standard icon set. So KTorrent, Kdenlive, … will work in Breeze and Breeze dark. The VDG will go this way, because it is the easiest and simplest (maintenance) solution. We will do the work in coordination with the app developers.

Next Step for me

The next step is to look into the source and see if an app specific icon is also standardized. Because with standardized icons you can change between ALL icon themes that are available (kde, gnome, unity, … whatever).

After this cleanup I will hope to work with the app developers together to get the missing icons into Breeze.

ToDo for the devs

There is one problem I found out. Sometimes it is not possible that an app (krusader, amarok, digikam, …) use the icons from the main icon set (system settings) when there are app specific icons in the source code. That’s a BIG problem and I hope that it is possible to change this behavior that the icon in the source code is only the fallback.


Our working dictionary is on github. You can contact me via mail kainz.a at gmail.com, you can leave an issue on github, in the VDG Forum, fill a bug report on kde or leave a message at the comment area.