Better Ubuntu Fonts

I have been using Ubuntu for a while. I like it. I like it a lot.

But once in a while, when I switch to Windows, I feel better because I really like the font. It feels really much pleasant to watch windows font.

I installed windows fonts on my system and changed all the the default font settings to Tribuchet 10pt from Sans. It feels better, but still not as good. Oh, BTW, I love the default ubuntu console font. Monospace 10 really rocks. But Sans, oh please.

What is the default font on Windows. How do I enable it on Ubuntu. If it is paid, licensed, or illegal, I don’t care, I just want better fonts on my Ubuntu system.

And, also, on a Laptop with LCD screen, should Sub-Pixel Smoothing be enabled?

Update: I tried different fonts for a while on my system, and I think I could do a lot better. I am far from satisfied.

  • The default Sans font, is Ugly, imho.
  • The Arial, Tribuchet MS and some other MS fonts, don’t render properly, Tribuchet MS has a problem with e. An extra line on top. I hate it.
  • The good windows fonts Tahoma, Segoe, Callbiri, Cambria all render poorly, due to lack of cleartype.
  • Trying to use this xml, in .fonts.conf that is supposed to magically make rendering smooth, does nothing more than turn on sub pixel smoothing.

    <?xml version="1.0"?>
    <!DOCTYPE fontconfig SYSTEM "fonts.dtd">
    <match target="font">
    <edit name="autohint" mode="assign">

  • Turning on sub-pixel smoothing makes the font bold at the cost of clear shapes, it is a turn off. The otherwise awesome Monospace font also looks bad.

What is the best font I can have on my Ubuntu system. It is alright if it is commercial and expensive. I could do with better font typefaces.


I also like Windows fonts much better than the defaults on any Linux distributions. Well, at least the Windows XP default, Tahoma. (Also, I prefer no antialiasing at all for small font sizes, when using good TrueType fonts. Your mileage may vary!)

These days I find it very easy to get nice fonts in Ubuntu. (Gone are the days of needing to recompile Freetype with a certain option (I forget which) to get them right.)

Steps I took when last installing Ubuntu afresh

  1. Put your TrueType fonts (.ttf files from Windows installation or e.g. the Microsoft Core Fonts package legally available on the web) in some directory, e.g. /usr/local/winfonts.
  2. Edit /etc/fonts/local.config and add your winfont dir:

    <?xml version="1.0"?>
    <!DOCTYPE fontconfig SYSTEM "fonts.dtd">
    <!-- /etc/fonts/fonts.conf file to configure system font access -->
            <!-- Font directory list -->
  3. Run sudo fc-cache -fv to rebuild font information cache files. (Nowadays there’s no need to create files like fonts.scale, fonts.dir or fonts.alias using ttmkfdir or other utilities!)

Then configure Tahoma 8 as the default font in your desktop environment (KDE’s control centre for me; equally easy in the Gnome equivalent)

And that’s it.

Alternative way

Another way is to simply install msttcorefonts package from Universe and run fc-cache, as instructed in this post on Ubuntu Blog.

The core fonts package doesn’t include Tahoma though. But if you have it from other sources, copying the .ttf files to ~/.fonts/ (or /usr/local/share/fonts for system wide availability) before running fc-cache should be sufficient.

Source : Link , Question Author : lprsd , Answer Author : Community

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