July 5, 2007

Fonts are ugly in Ubuntu (gnome)

I admit that it is more the matter of personal taste, but come on! Let's face it! When I installed Ubuntu for the first time, and after recovering from astonishment shock, I was annoyed by how ugly fonts were rendered on my LCD screen. Many say you can correct it by changing font rendering settings for LCD. I did it and it didn't help much. I finally figured out that it stems in the fonts gnome uses in Ubuntu. Luckily I found a good fix for this, as usual in ubuntuforums. Here is my personal take on the solution:

First you need to install Microsoft font pack for linux. In terminal type:

sudo apt-get install msttcorefonts

then download this file from the link below and save it on your desktop:


then in terminal, go to your desktop:

cd Desktop

and then:

sudo tar xvjpf fontconfig.tbz -C /etc/fonts/

now all you need to do is to restart gnome. It is suggested that logging out and in will bring these changes into effect. But I found that it is better if you do it the rough way, i.e. pressing

ctrl + alt + backspace

Does it look better now?


PRO said...

very good tip!!

and u have a superb blog which helps ppl like me who r learning ubuntu and linux


Anonymous said...

Hmm. When I tried that the fonts looked ugly. For some reason the hinting was missing. The terminal font looked horrible. I'll have to play with it. I had to back it out with:

cd /etc/fonts && sudo rm msfonts-rules.conf misc.conf local.conf alias.conf

I actually have slightly different freetype libraries installed which enable much better hinting support and make the standard fonts look really good


"Knows how" said...

Thank you for the comment! I tried this method too. It makes it a little bit better. But still, fonts are not as delicate as what they look in XP. Again, it is a personal preference.

Alex said...

IMO the fonts look worse than they did to start with, they all look scrunched up and really thin.

"Knows how" said...

The screenshot in this article shows my desktop after these changes. It is not that thin. is it?

danial said...

please help me!
after following your introduction and full installation my BERYL system doesn't work correctly!
please help me to return setting...!


Anonymous said...

This made things even worse, for me.

Anonymous said...

How can you turn it back to the default?

Kritikal said...

Just tried this on Xubuntu (XFCE, not Gnome) Feisty and it helped A LOT! Thanks much!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, I just can't get on with Cleartype or any other anti-aliasing.

Any idea on how to tidy these remaining ugly fonts:

Anonymous said...

How do I reverse this? It got worse for me...

PapaDocta said...

to reverse this open terminal and login as su and then cd to /etc/fonts and remove the fonts that were installed... which are four of them

rm -f alias.conf
rm -f local.conf
rm -f misc.conf

and hit ctl+alt+backspace and all will be back to normal..

Anonymous said...

Try Red Hat Liberation Fonts. They are top class. In Ubuntu just search for it using Synaptic and a simple click to install.



Anonymous said...

I thought this was a decent tip. Some things (Firefox) looked much better. But some things looked a good bit worse.

Then I followed the link posted on July 5, 2007 and followed the advice there. That really set things to right.

Thanks for posting this.

Jason said...

Thanks for the tip. The fonts on my Ubuntu (8.10) and Firefox (3.0.5) looks better than before.

Reza Ghaffaripour said...

although not perfect but better than before.thanks.

TEST said...

Very Good Tip

Thanks a Lot

rbosinger said...

That looks 1000x times better. Thank you!