Create favicon.ico with Ubuntu Linux

I was interested in creating a favicon.ico file in Ubuntu Linux for a new website that I helped create. I recalled having used KIconEdit to do it before. I installed KIconEdit and used that to create the icon. However, KIconEdit did not have any options to save as favicon.ico. I turned to the internet for help.

Most of the information gleened by Google search said to save the file as a 16×16 pixel PNG file, and use one of the icon command line tools to convert it to the favicon.ico format. So I looked in apt-get cache to see if any icon tools were available.

$ apt-cache search favicon
icoutils - Create and extract MS Windows icons and cursors

Yeah! That looked promising. So I install icoutils using apt-get.

$ sudo apt-get install icoutils

Wow! That was easy! Now how do I use this tool? Well, man pages usually help.

$ man icoutils
No manual entry for icoutils

Bummer! Well, maybe the package will give me some clues.

$ apt-cache show icoutils
Package: icoutils
Status: install ok installed
Priority: optional
Section: graphics
Installed-Size: 172
Maintainer: Colin Watson
Architecture: i386
Version: 0.25.0-1
Depends: libc6 (>= 2.3.4-1), libpng12-0 (>= 1.2.8rel), zlib1g (>= 1:1.2.1), perl, libwww-perl
Suggests: libterm-readline-gnu-perl | libterm-readline-perl-perl
Description: Create and extract MS Windows icons and cursors
Icoutils is a set of programs that deal with MS Windows icons and cursors. Resources such as icons and cursors can be extracted from MS Windows executable and library files with "wrestool". Conversion of these files to and from PNG images is done with "icotool". "extresso" automates these tasks with the help of special resource scripts.
This package can be used to create "favicon.ico" files for web sites.

Aha! I could potentially use icotool to convert the PNG icon to a favicon. icotool had both a man page and a --help option. I used icotool on the command line to convert my PNG file.

$ icotool -o favicon.ico -c favicon.png

maryfeet.jpgI also used The GIMP image tool to convert a JPEG scan of my daughter Mary Elizabeth’s footprints to a PNG. I opened the image, scaled it to 16×16 pixels, and saved it as favicon.png. I used icotool to convert the PNG file to a favicon.ico file. I uploaded the favicon.ico file to her memorial website

About skarg

I write software for a living. So, I dedicated some web space for some stuff that I have worked on. I mostly write embedded C for PC based controllers, but I have dabbled in a few other areas as well.
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8 Responses to Create favicon.ico with Ubuntu Linux

  1. jennifergg says:


    I found an image of yours on Google, a picture of pinwheels. I have a blog called Pinwheels, which is a place for parent of children with Down syndrome. I have used your image in my header, which you can see here:

    I know this is after-the-fact, but I wanted to check with you for permission to use this image. I can link to you or give you credit in whatever way you like; and if this is not acceptable to you, I’ll remove it.

    I’m sorry for posting all this in the comments, but I didn’t know how else to get ahold of you. You can reach me at my blog, on my website or though here, I will check back.

    Thanks for your time!

  2. Steve says:

    Hi Jennifer,

    Thanks for letting me know that you were using the pinwheel photo! Of course you have my permission to use it!

    I really like your site and your stories about Avery. Especially the one where you said, “This: the child I once worried would be a burden, lifting my burden.”

    Thanks for letting me know that my site needs a “contact” menu option. I will add it as soon as I can.


  3. Ronald says:

    Thanks for sharing, exactly the tool I was looking for.

  4. Julia says:

    What he said. Last time I did this, I used png2ico, but it’s pretty old code and I couldn’t get it to compile. Your solution was refreshingly simple, and unlike ppmtowinicon allows a transparent background. Thanks!

  5. Pingback: Ubuntu – How to Create and Host favicon.ico Files on Apache « PricklyTech

  6. Romsick says:

    Thank you for the tutorial, it was very useful and I really needed it! 🙂
    I would like to add that in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS “icoutils” is already installed.

  7. skarg says:

    I recently found a website to do the work:

  8. jamesbell says:

    will it work after the conversion of some other format (jpg for example) into a png file?

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