Installing Fonts In Ubuntu

by vitalbodies on July 1st, 2008

Installing Fonts In Ubuntu:

This post is part of a series of post on fonts:

VitalBodies Guides – The How Tos Of Fonts In Ubuntu

If you are making the switch to Ubuntu you will notices what seems to be some odd missing pieces if you are used to a Mac or a Windows Operating system.

Fonts, What Fonts?

There seems to be no indication in Ubuntu about installing fonts? Not having the original fonts one used to create certain kinds of documents can really create a challenging set back.

To load your fonts is easy, but consider for a moment if you should. Part of the philosophy of Ubuntu is freedom and open source. So do you really want to load and continue to use proprietary fonts?

You might, if you have to, or you might not need to, and this is your chance to shift towards freedom even with the fonts you use. Plus you might want to try some new fonts.

Perhaps you have open source fonts you want to load? You still need a way to load them.


In Short: The simple copy and paste method of installing your fonts.

Copy the code below:

gksu nautilus /usr/share/fonts/truetype

Open the terminal:

Applications > Accessories > Terminal

Paste the code into the Terminal: Edit > Paste.

Push the Enter Key on your keyboard and then enter your password and then click OK.

Nautilus should open to the truetype folder.

Make a new folder (of the name of your choice).

How? Right click with the mouse in the truetype folder we just opened and choose Create Folder and give the folder a name.

Double click the folder to open it.

Add your fonts to the directory you made by copying them and then just pasting them into the folder…

Alert Ubuntu that you added the fonts.

Copy the code below:

sudo fc-cache -f -v

Open the terminal:

Applications > Accessories > Terminal

Paste the code into the Terminal: Edit > Paste.

Push the Enter Key on your keyboard (and then enter your password if needed).

The command above adds them into the system so they become available.


NEW! 465 Fonts:

Very exciting that there is an easy way to install a large number of wild and amazing fonts!

VitalBodies downloaded the DEB file (from crunchbang’s PPA) and chose to use the  the  Gdebi Package Installer which automatically installed the fonts. Could not have been easier. The fonts loaded and all that was required to see them in Inkscape was to reboot. We could not find them with Fonty Python until we looked in /usr/share/fonts/truetype/aenigma.

Even then only 10 show up…

…Unless you press the forward button. At that point one notices they show up ten at a time and that they seem to all be there. Must be one of drawbacks of have a really wide screen is to not notice that button. : )

The font thing in Ubuntu is a bit challenging and this package is VERY helpful. VitalBodies wants to thank crunchbang, their helper and the artist…

According to crunchbang’s site the package and fonts are released under the Artistic License 2.0.



Open Font Library:



Did you know you can create and edit fonts too? You could create a new unique font and offer that font for everyone in the world to use.


Font Related Tools:



VitalBodies Guides – The How Tos Of Fonts In Ubuntu

From Ubuntu

  1. bjb_nyj101 permalink

    Yeah, you can do all that work, or you can just:

    sudo apt-get install msttcorefonts


  2. Thank you for your comment. If I understand that command, that will only install the MS Core fonts (the fonts that normally come with Windows) rather than ALL of the fonts an artist may have used to create documents. For example, a CorelDraw user may have over 1000 fonts that comes with CorelDraw. VitalBodies is attempting to move away from using proprietary fonts like the fonts owned by MS but we understand that not all users are able to do so…

  3. This is a strange way of adding fonts, although it will add them system-wide, so that new users can use them.

    You also should run the following two commands after adding fonts your way:

    sudo dpkg-reconfigure fontconfig
    sudo dpkg-reconfigure defoma

    This will create the necessary system files so the fonts will work correctly with applications (see man defoma).

    A much easier way to add fonts is to create a .fonts directory in your /home folder, and put the fonts there. They will then be instantly accessible in your apps, without any further work needed. The trouble is that they will only be accessible by your user account — new users will have to do the same.

    You can install lots of fonts using Synaptic by searching for packages that begin with ttf-.

  4. Thank you so much for your comments. I was considering adding a post on how to put all ones fonts in the .fonts folder in the home directory so they are easier to back up. There is a post on this blog about adding fonts in synaptic (which indeed does add a lot of nice fonts) and a post has been in the making about sudo dpkg-reconfigure fontconfig and also adding the ms core fonts. I had not heard of sudo dpkg-reconfigure defoma and that seems like something exciting to explore and use.

  5. amulet permalink

    Worked like a dream…I wish all Ubuntu stuff was presented in such a clear and easy way. thank you

  6. Thank you so much! Ubuntu is awesome and I am glad I can give back!

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