How to Install New Fonts in Ubuntu and Other Linux

3 min

Here’s how you can install new fonts in Ubuntu and other Linux distributions.

If you’re an Ubuntu or any other Linux distribution user, you know how important fonts are for enhancing the visual appeal of your system and applications. For example, if you are customizing your GNOME desktop, the fonts play an important role in giving the desired look to your desktop.

Installing new fonts can give your computer a fresh look and feel, making your creative endeavours even more captivating. In this guide, we’ll walk you through installing new fonts on Ubuntu and other Linux distributions, ensuring your desktop stands out with personalized typography.

Check for Installed Fonts

Before adding new fonts, let’s first check the fonts already installed on your system. This step will help you avoid duplication and organize your font library effectively. Follow these simple steps to check installed fonts:

Open the terminal on your Ubuntu system by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T. For other Linux distributions, use the corresponding keyboard shortcut to access the terminal.

Type the following command in the terminal and press Enter:


This command will display a list of all installed fonts on your system.

Download New Fonts

Now that you know which fonts are installed in your system, let’s proceed with downloading new fonts. There are several websites offering a wide selection of free and paid fonts. Here, we will focus on free font resources that you can use without any copyright issues. Follow these steps to download new fonts.

Use your web browser to find websites that offer free fonts for Linux. Some popular font websites include Google Fonts, FontSpace, and DaFont.

Browse through the collection of fonts available on the website and choose the ones you like. Once you find a font you want to install, click on the download button to save the file to your computer. They usually provide you with a download link to a zip file which contains actual font files with the extension ttf, otf. Extract the zip file before proceeding.

Sample screenshot while downloading from Google Fonts
Sample screenshot while downloading from Google Fonts

After downloading the fonts, installing them on your Linux system is next. Installing fonts in Linux is a straightforward process, and there are multiple ways to do this. We will cover two commonly used methods: installing fonts system-wide and installing fonts for a specific user.

Install fonts in Linux

Installing fonts system-wide

Follow these steps to install fonts system-wide.

Open the terminal and create a new directory named “fonts” (if it does not exist) in the “/usr/share/fonts” directory. You will need administrative privileges to create directories in this location. Note: You can also create a subfolder under “fonts” to group them logically.

sudo mkdir /usr/share/fonts

Copy the downloaded font files (ttf, otf) to the newly created “fonts” directory using the following command:

sudo cp ~/Downloads/*.ttf /usr/share/fonts

To make the system aware of the new fonts, update the font cache by running the following command (to force):

sudo fc-cache -f -v

Installing fonts for a specific user

If you don’t have administrative privileges or prefer to install fonts for a specific user, follow these steps:

Open the terminal and create a new directory named “.fonts” (if it does not exist) in your home folder.

mkdir ~/.fonts

Copy the downloaded font files to the “.fonts” directory using the following command:

cp ~/Downloads/*.ttf ~/.fonts

Update the font cache for the user-specific fonts:

fc-cache -f -v

Verifying Installed Fonts

After completing the installation, you might want to verify whether the new fonts are successfully installed. Here’s how to do it:

Open the terminal and list all installed fonts again using the “fc-list” command.


Look for the newly installed fonts in the list. You should see the names of the fonts you installed.

Using New Fonts

With the fonts successfully installed, you can now use them in various applications on your Linux system. Most text-editing software, design tools, and office suites allow you to select and use custom fonts.

For example, if you open LibreOffice Writer, you can see the new fonts in the font dropdown, as shown below:

Fonts showing in LibreOffice Writer after install
Fonts showing in LibreOffice Writer after install

Also, you can check the new fonts in GIMP or any graphic design software:

New fonts in GIMP
New fonts in GIMP

Wrapping Up

Installing new fonts in Ubuntu and other Linux distributions is a simple and rewarding way to personalize your system and improve your creative projects. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can easily download, install, and use various fonts to suit your preferences and enhance your overall user experience.

I hope this guide helps beginners as well as the advanced users to install fonts easily in Linux distributions.


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