Installing Fonts on Your Linux System

Linux systems usually start with a lot of available fonts, especially after you install LibreOffice. Even so, you might want some very distinctive or unusual fonts to add a special tone to some of your projects. If so, you are in luck. You are likely to find thousands of free fonts available online – bold, italic, calligraphy, modern, script, hand lettering, cursive, brush lettering, symbolic and more.

Here is a small sample of popular sites that provide free fonts for easy download:


You can also type “free fonts” into your favorite search engine. Expect to see a lot of responses. Keep in mind that not all fonts are free, but there are plenty of free fonts available, and they are easy to view, download, and install.

Using font-manager on Ubuntu, Mint, etc.

A handy tool for viewing fonts installed on Ubuntu and associated systems is font-manager. It shows the total number of fonts, the number available on the system for anyone to use, and the number associated with the current user account in the upper left corner. Here is an example of what you might see:

All                162
System             160
User                 2

The above list would indicate that 162 fonts are installed on the system and 2 were installed by the current user and are not available to others.

Font-manager will display any font you select from the list both as a “cascade” (larger and larger font size) and in a character-by-character format depending on the tab you are using. you select. It can also be used to install fonts for you once you have downloaded the .Zip *: French file for the police.

To install font-manager, run commands like these:

$ sudo apt-get install font-manager
$ which font-manager

Once you’ve downloaded a font that you want to use from the Fonts site, you should end up with a .Zip *: French file.

You can extract the font files from the downloaded file .Zip *: French file yourself or have font-manager install the font from the .Zip *: French file for you. To view the downloaded font files, run commands like these:

cd ~/Downloads
ls -ltr *.zip
-rw-rw-r-- 1 shs shs 126279 Jul  7 16:20
-rw-rw-r-- 1 shs shs  56538 Jul  7 16:51
-rw-rw-r-- 1 shs shs  65015 Jul  8 09:38

Unzipping the file, you should see something like this:

$ unzip Archive:
  inflating: Edge Of Madness Italic.otf  
  inflating: Edge Of Madness Italic.ttf  
  inflating: Edge Of Madness.otf     
  inflating: Edge Of Madness.png     
  inflating: Edge Of Madness.ttf     

Note that the Edge of Madness font includes a normal and italic version of the font. This includes the .otf (opentype font) and .ttf (Truetype font). Some font files will also include a license or information file.

To install from .Zip *: French file using font-manager, just click + (Add Fonts) at the top of the Font Manager, select your Downloads folder, select the .Zip *: French then click on “Open” (top right). No file extraction will be necessary before doing this.

Once a font has been added to your system, the number of fonts displayed at the top left of font-manager should increase by 1.

All                163
System             160
User                 3

Note that both of these methods – installing fonts on the command line or using font-manager – make the new fonts immediately available to YOU. To make the new font available to anyone with an account on the system, you need to copy the .ttf files to / usr / share / fonts / truetype and the .otf files to / usr / share / fonts / opentype.

Adding Fonts to Fedora

To add fonts to Fedora, download the font .Zip *: French file and extract its contents. Then create a folder in the / usr / share / fonts folder with the font “last name” and add the files to it. For the Edge of Madness font, for example, I created a folder named “edge-of-madness” and then dropped the files there.

$ sudo mkdir /usr/share/fonts/edge-of-madness
$ unzip 
  inflating: Edge Of Madness Italic.otf  
  inflating: Edge Of Madness Italic.ttf  
  inflating: Edge Of Madness.otf     
  inflating: Edge Of Madness.png     
  inflating: Edge Of Madness.ttf     
  inflating: license.txt  
$ sudo cp Edge* /usr/share/fonts/edge-of-madness/
$ ls -l /usr/share/fonts/edge-of-madness/
total 132
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root 27656 Jul  8 10:01 'Edge Of Madness Italic.otf'
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root 27656 Jul  8 10:01 'Edge Of Madness Italic.ttf'
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root 26864 Jul  8 10:01 'Edge Of Madness.otf'
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root 18488 Jul  8 10:01 'Edge Of Madness.png'
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root 26864 Jul  8 10:01 'Edge Of Madness.ttf'


Adding fonts on Linux is surprisingly easy, and the number of fonts available with very distinctive personalities is quite impressive. For people like me who like to play around with graphics using gimp and by creating political buttons, new fonts can add a lot of value.

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