Helping you install Numix Icon Theme on Elementary OS after messing up


If you’re a beginner using Linux and got an error something like below then no worries, I’ll help you out!

Failed to fetch 404 Not Found

E: Some index files failed to download. They have been ignored, or old ones used instead. root@pcName:/home/nameHere#


First of all, from this terminal output I can only assume that you’re using your PC as root. This is really bad practice as it’s super easy to mess up your entire system up, especially as a newcomer. Only login to your system as a normal user!

Second, have you installed a ppa (maybe with a guide you found on the internet)? The “failed to fetch” thingy implies you added a ppa at some point. The way most packages (programs) in Ubuntu and therefore elementary OS are installed is “sudo apt-get install yourprogram” in the terminal. sudo grants administrative rights for this one operation, that’s why you don’t need to login as root. apt-get install yourprogram installs a program called youorprogram. Now, how does Freya know where to get yourprogram? There’s this cool thing called repositories, or repos for short. They are basically a place where certain programs are placed, maintained and can be downloaded from. You tell Linux which repos it should check for software and that’s it. So in this case you are looking for the Numix theme. There are a few repos that host Numix, but let’s just take the official one for this. Open up Terminal and do this, one after another:

  • sudo apt-add-repository ppa:numix/ppa
  • sudo apt-get update
  • sudo apt-get install numix-gtk-theme

This adds the Numix repository to your softwarce sources, then updates the list on your PC, then installs the theme. The cool thing about repositories is that when you want to update your system you just do:

  • sudo apt-get update
  • sudo apt-get upgrade

and everything from kernel to apps gets updated. As I said earlier, it seems like you added a PPA to your system that doesn’t supply packages for Freya, so you need to remove it:

  • sudo apt-get install ppa-purge
  • sudo ppa-purge ppa:versable/elementary-update
  • sudo apt-get update
  • sudo apt-get upgrade

The first line installs a program called ppa-purge. You don’t have to add a repository this time because it’s already in the default repos. Second line then uses ppa-purge to get rid of the faulty ppa.

So, finally you have Numix theme installed – how do you apply it? I (and many other users) like elementary-tweaks. The elementary folks are not too happy about that because it can potentially screw with your installation. I’d say go for it, but don’t use switches you don’t have to unless you absolutely know how to revert things. Install elementary-tweaks:

  • sudo apt-add-repository ppa:justsomedood/justsomeelementary
  • sudo apt-get update
  • sudo apt-get install elementary-tweaks

Again, first line adds a repo, second then updates your system so it knows about this new repo, third line installs elementary-tweaks. After that, open System Settings from the Applications menu or from the panel at the bottom and you’ll find a button called “Tweaks”. Hit it. In “Appearance” change Metacity Theme and GTK+ Theme to Numix.


Edit: You only have to add a repository once. After all this, try to install Numix Circle icons:

  • sudo apt-get install numix-icon-theme-circle

You can apply this with Tweaks, Appearance, Icon theme. You might have to close and open System Settings again after you’ve installed a new theme.

Edit 2: Maybe you are not logged in as root, but rather entered “sudo su” in the terminal. When there’s something like “root@pcName:/home/nameHere#” in your terminal, type exit and hit enter. The terminal should then say “nameHere@pcName:~$”



Let me know if anything doesn’t work in the comments below.

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