How to Install and Use Different Fonts in Linux

Installing and using different fonts in windows OS can be done very easily. You  just have to download the font and add it to Fonts folder. Previously we discussed about how to create your own Fonts from your handwriting. Now you can try and work on different types of fonts in Linux too. This will be helpful for people who work a lot on designing and Graphics in Linux.  The best way of to installing fonts in Linux is with the command line. In this article you are going to learn how to install true type fonts for single user and also globally for all users..

First you have to get yourself some good fonts. If you do a search for “free fonts” you will come up with plenty of sites that offer fonts. There are even sites that sell fonts for a reasonable price. Of course if you are serious about desktop publishing or graphics you will want to look at higher quality fonts.

For Single User Installation

This method of installation will install the fonts in such a way that only the targeted use has access to the fonts. For this type of installation

  • Download all of your fonts into a directory the user has access to (the ~/Downloads directory works fine.)

  • Once you have your fonts collected, You will most likely have to unzip each file which will result in either .ttf or .TTF files.

  • In a terminal window,execute the commands. Do this within the directory containing your downloaded fonts.

mkdir ~/.fonts

mv *ttf *TTF ~/.fonts

  • Now log out of your desktop environment and log back in.

  • Those fonts should now be available to you. If you’re unsure you can fire up either Open-Office or The GIMP to see if your fonts are available.

For Global Installation

Installing fonts globally allows all users access to the fonts. You sill have to download all of your fonts. The process is as follows..

  • Once you have downloaded the fonts, unzip the files (making sure all the *ttf and *TTF files are in the same directory) and su to the root user.

  • Once you are the root user issue the following commands:

mkdir   -p /usr/local/share/fonts/ttfonts

mv *ttf *TTF /usr/local/share/fonts/ttfonts

cd   /usr/local/share/fonts/ttfonts

ttmkfdir   -o fonts.scale


chkfontpath   –add /usr/local/share/fonts/ttfonts

/etc/rc.d/init.d/xfs   restart

  • Now log out of your desktop and you can log in as any user and the fonts will be available to them.

You will need the per user method only if you have more than one user working on the same system.If you find the global installation method is a bit difficult you can always copy the fonts into the ~/.fonts directory of every user that needs access to the various true type fonts.

Filed under: Linux
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January 11, 2009 by: Prasanth Chandra


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