From Tango Desktop Project
Revision as of 22:28, 18 January 2006 by Straw (talk) (Added links to and instructions for using my patches to KDE)

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Installing Tango is intended to be straight forward, however this guide will help if you have any difficulties.


You will need the following packages for a successful installation:

  • GNU Automake 1.9.x and friends
  • ImageMagick version 5.5.7 or greater
  • pkgconfig version 0.19 or greater
  • XML::Simple Perl Module

A recent version of librsvg or kdelibs is also suggested for generating PNGs. For now, rsvg from librsvg is the preferred method as it produces much better quality PNGs when compared to ksvgtopng.

Both release tarballs and cvs checkouts are available.



When prompted for a password at CVS, just press enter. This will give you an anonymous login.

Icon Naming Utilities

First, we need to install icon-naming-utils. The naming utilities generate the icon files appropriate to the desktop environment you use. It should be noted, when icon-naming-utils is updated, tango-icon-theme should also be updated.

Build and install icon-naming-utils:

./  (if using CVS)
./configure --prefix=/usr  (or /opt or whatever is useful)
make install  (may require administrator privileges)

Note that icon-naming-utils places its pkg-config file in /usr/share/pkgconfig/. Adjust PKG_CONFIG_PATH to reflect this as necessary.

Tango Icon Theme

Now, onto installing Tango. This is generally similar to installing icon-naming-utils, except you may want to pay closer attention to ./configure's flags if installing for use in desktop environments that support only the PNG image format. First, we need to review what flags are available:

./ (if using CVS)
./configure --help

If you use KDE, you will want to generate PNG images. For GNOME, a standard ./configure should suffice. Note that the chosen --prefix needs to point to a location that allows your chosen desktop environment to find the icon theme (usually /usr or /opt, depending on how you or your distribution have installed a given destop environment).

./  (if using CVS)
./configure --prefix=/usr  (or /opt or whatever is useful)
make install  (may require administrator privileges)

Tango can also be installed with user privileges, using --prefix=$HOME/.icons.

In KDE's case, --prefix=$HOME/.kde/share/icons can be used.

Patches to KDE

Please note, KDE does not currently look in some of the icon contexts described in the Icon Naming Specification and used by the Tango Icon Library. Linked below are some rudimentary patches which allow KDE to use the proposed new icon contexts. Without these patches, a number of icons will be missing from the UI.

Patch for kdebase

Patch for kdelibs

To apply the KDE patches, get recent copies of kdebase and kdelibs and untar each. Copy the corresponding patch to the top-level source directory and apply it:

cd kdelibs-3.5.0 patch -p0 < kdelibs-new-icon-theme-contexts.diff cd ..

cd kdebase-3.5.0 patch -p0 < kdebase-new-icon-theme-contexts.diff cd..

Then, follow the build instructions at Please note, when installing KDE from a source build, it's best to set an install prefix that won't overwrite packages installed by your distribution. Building as a user other than your regular login is also recommended.

Using these patches is not absolutely necessary, however any icons residing in the icon contexts not currently used by KDE will not be available or visible in the UI.

Finally, you should now be able to choose Tango from your desktop environment's theme manager. Enjoy!