Most of computer fonts people using are TrueTpye fonts. TrueType fonts end with .ttf , which stand for TrueType Font. This tutorial shows how to install TrueType fonts in Linux (Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, etc).

General way to install TrueType fonts

All of the TrueType fonts are under /usr/share/fonts/truetype, simplest way is to copy ttf file to this directory and give it the right permission. For example, if you want to install Ubuntu font family manually. You can download the font file from official site.

In the terminal, download the package:


unzip the file into directory ubuntu-font-family-0.80


and then use copy command to copy all the files to /usr/share/fonts/truetype,/usr/share/fonts directory and sub directory need root to write, so you should add sudo before command. The -r paramater represent recursive, it means all the files under ubuntu-font-family-0.80 will be copied to the right place.

 sudo cp -r ubuntu-font-family-0.80/ /usr/share/fonts/truetype/

finally, you shoulde give this directory and all the ttf under this directory right permission. All the new fonts now can only be used by root. We need to change the permission to let all the users to use these fonts:

 sudo chmod 755 /usr/share/fonts/truetype/ubuntu-font-family-0.80/ -R

then, refresh the font cache to let system detect these fonts:

 fc-cache -f -v

Install new fonts only for current user

As I mentioned in the first part, if you copy the ttf file to /usr/share/fonts directory, all the users can use these new fonts. But if you only want to provide these fonts to specific user, like current login user , you can just copy the file to ~/.fonts directory. If there is no such directory, just create it. The ~ stand for current user’s home directory, full path is /home/<username>. So repeat the operation to install Ubuntu font family:

mkdir ~/.fonts
cp -r ubuntu-font-family-0.80/ ~/.fonts/
fc-cache -fv

Install microsoft core fonts

Microsoft Core Fonts include these fonts:

  • Andale Mono
  • Arial Black
  • Arial (Bold, Italic, Bold Italic)
  • Comic Sans MS (Bold)
  • Courier New (Bold, Italic, Bold Italic)
  • Georgia (Bold, Italic, Bold Italic)
  • Impact
  • Times New Roman (Bold, Italic, Bold Italic)
  • Trebuchet (Bold, Italic, Bold Italic)
  • Verdana (Bold, Italic, Bold Italic)
  • Webdings

Debian/Ubuntn/Linux Mint user just open terminal and run these command:

sudo apt-get install ttf-mscorefonts-installer

or Linux Mint user can find this package in the Software Manager, just search it and click install.

Install Chinese fonts

.ttf files are the English fonts, while .TTF files are Chinese fonts. If we check the C:\Windows\Fonts under Microsoft Windows, there are 3 kind of fonts. One is the .fon fonts, which is the DOS system font, and other two fonts are .ttf and .TTF. We can just make a copy of all .ttf and .TTF file and copy all the files to /usr/share/fonts/ directory under Linux. Although it is illegal under Microsoft’s TOC, but we can still do it. :)

If you dual boot your computer, mount the Windows and copy the files

sudo mkdir /usr/share/fonts/truetype/WindowsFonts
sudo cp -r /media/Windows/Fonts/*.ttf /usr/share/fonts/truetype/WindowsFonts/
sudo cp -r /media/Windows/Fonts/*.TTF /usr/share/fonts/truetype/WindowsFonts/

Install open source Chinese fonts, like文泉驿-微米黑 文泉驿-正黑

sudo apt-get install ttf-wqy-microhei ttf-wqy-zenhei

several Chinese font we can choose:

To check more about Chinese font visit Arch wiki


Install Software Manager under Linux Mint

Linux Mint user can find a font manager under Software Manager. It is really a cool tool to manager your fonts.

List all available fonts

fc-list is a quick and handy command to lists fonts and styles available on the system for applications using fontconfig. You can use fc-list to find out whether particular language font is installed or not.

To list all font faces:

$ fc-list

To lists font faces that cover Chinese language:

$ fc-list :lang=zh

Output will be all available Chinese fonts.

Fix WPS for Linux font missing error

After I installed WPS for Linux under Linux Mint 17.2, I met this problem, “系统缺失字体symbol、wingdings、wingdings 2、wingdings 3、wedding”. According to the copyright, WPS for Linux doesn’t contains these five fonts. You can only find these five fonts and install them in the right place like I said before. One way to find these fonts is to find them in Microsoft Windows system. And another way is to download these files from Internet and install.

Install Korean fonts

Use following command to search Korean font

apt-cache search korean font

and use this command to install Korean font to linux:

sudo apt-get install fonts-unfonts-core fonts-unfonts-extra

Common sense

Fonts type:

  • Sans-serif=无衬线体=黑体:并不是具体一款字体,而是一类字体,选择它其实等于选择这类字体中优先级最高的那款字体。
  • Serif=衬线体=白体:同上
  • Monospace=等宽字体,意思是字符宽度相同:同上
  • 点阵字体=位图字体



For more information check Debian page Arch wiki and Ubuntu wiki