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install-microsoft-core-fonts-ubuntu Arial, Times New Roman, Impact and Verdana are some of the most commonly used fonts. They are so widely used in fact that whenever you open a Word document from any computer, you immediately expect to find their presence. However, on your newly installed Ubuntu (and many other Linux distros), you will find that there is absolutely no trace of any of these fonts.

Ubuntu, by default, does not include the commonly used Microsoft core fonts in its installation. The set of fonts that it uses is not supported in Windows or Mac. This means that if you create a document and send to your partner for editing, he/she will not be able to view it in the way that it was originally formatted. Vice versa, you won’t be able to view the document that your friend sends you in the way that it was formatted, unless he/she is using the same fonts as you.

Luckily, installing the Microsoft core fonts package (and any other new fonts) in Ubuntu is easy. Here’s how you can do it on your own:

Installing Microsoft Core Fonts in Ubuntu Linux

The Microsoft core fonts package consists of the following 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

To install them, open up your Synaptic Package Manager (System -> Administration -> Synaptic Package Manager). Scroll down till you find msttcorefonts. Check the box beside it and select Mark for Installation. Click Apply at the menubar to install the fonts package.

install microsoft fonts linux


Alternatively, if you prefer the terminal way, simply type the following command in your terminal.

sudo apt-get install msttcorefonts

Installing new fonts

Installing the Microsoft core fonts package is only the beginning. There will be many occasions where you need to install a new set of fonts for a specific project. Here is how you can do it :

If you are installing the new fonts for personal use and do not want others to have access to them, simply create a .fonts folder in your Home directory and paste all the fonts into it. Here’s the steps:

  • 1. Download the fonts (it should be in zipped format)
  • 2. Extract the fonts.
  • 3. Open nautilus (Places -> Home). Press Ctrl + H to reveal all the hidden files and folders.
  • 4. Check if the .fonts folder exist. If not, create the folder and name it .fonts.
  • 5. Copy and paste the new font(s) into the .fonts folder.
  • 6. Restart your application. The fonts should be available for your use now.

If you want to install system-wide and allow others to use it:

  • 1. Create a new folder in your Desktop. Name it newfonts
  • 2. Download the new font(s) and extract to the newfonts folder
  • 3. Open a terminal
  • 4. Key in the command: sudo cp -R ~/Desktop/newfonts /usr/share/fonts. This will copy your new font(s) to the system font folder.
  • 5. Restart your application. The new fonts are now available for system-wide use.

If you are using KDE, there is a font installer application that allows you to install new fonts easily.The Font Installer application is found under System Settings.

install microsoft fonts ubuntu

Better Font Rendering

Now that you have installed your favorite fonts in your system, here’s a simple trick to improve the font rendering and make it look nicer.

Open up your Appearance configuration page (System -> Preferences -> Appearance)

Click on the Fonts tab. Under the Rendering section, check on the subpixel smoothing button.


You should notice the differences immediately.

If you are using Ubuntu 8.04 or an earlier version, this is what you need to do:

Type in the following command in the terminal

sudo ln -sf /etc/fonts/conf.avail/10-autohint.conf /etc/fonts/conf.d/

Logout and login again. You should see a noticeable difference in the font rendering.

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  1. Internetakias
    December 25, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    I can't find the package i have ubuntu 9.10

  2. Sigitas
    June 16, 2009 at 10:57 am

    Thanks so much.

  3. rohit
    May 22, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    Does this help import MS fonts into OpenOffice 3? I got pretty sick of trying to figure out how to run spadmin. Once I did get it to run, it just blinked and said no fonts available. Do I need to run something else to import fonts into OO3?

    PS as you can figure out, I'm also a newbie at Linux. Thanks for your patience

    • Damien Oh
      May 24, 2009 at 4:11 am

      Yes. You can access MS fonts from Open Office 3

  4. Neil
    January 17, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    ...sorry i should have alaborated, it seems like everything has gotten really big :(

  5. Neil
    January 17, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    sudo ln -sf /etc/fonts/conf.avail/10-autohint.conf /etc/fonts/conf.d/

    How do i undo that command? I dont like the way things look now...

    • Damien Oh
      January 18, 2009 at 8:24 am

      Remove the file with this command:

      sudo rm /etc/fonts/conf.d/10-autohint.conf

  6. Neil
    January 3, 2009 at 9:37 am

    You know i searched everywhere a few weeks ago for a good tutorial on how to install core fonts, i just wish i had have come across yours then ;)

    • Damien Oh
      January 3, 2009 at 11:12 am

      It still not too late now. There are plenty of useful and interesting stuffs in this site. I would advise you to bookmark it and subscribe to the feed so you won't miss out any tips or tricks again in the future.

  7. teddy
    December 17, 2008 at 10:25 am

    Wow dude, thats pretty cool....

  8. Vadi
    December 11, 2008 at 8:20 am

    Paul: Firefox tends to do that. Try disabling and enabling the smooth rendering and restarting firefox.

    Damien: You can just go to System→Preferences→Appearance→Fonts and set it up there. That is easier ;)

  9. Paul
    December 10, 2008 at 2:55 pm


    I used the "sudo apt-get install msttcorefonts" method to do this followed by the "Subpixel smoothing". I restarted the computer and opened Firefox. I thought that the fonts looked quite a bit better. A little while later, there was an automatic update of Firefox and after the computer restarted again and I opened Firefox again, I thought the Fonts had gone back to the "old" ones again. Is this possible or am I just imagining things? I'm using Ubuntu 8.04.1 on a Dell Inspiron mini-laptop.



    • Damien Oh
      December 10, 2008 at 7:18 pm

      In Ubuntu 8.04.1, the font rendering effect is not turned on by default. You have to use the following command to activate the effect.

      sudo ln -sf /etc/fonts/conf.avail/10-autohint.conf /etc/fonts/conf.d/

      You will have to log out and login again to see the effect.
      Try this and let me know if it works.

  10. bonik
    December 9, 2008 at 9:53 am

    Wow this useful. Thanks a lot!!

  11. Vadi
    December 9, 2008 at 9:04 am

    It needs to be "sudo dpkg --configure -a" actually. The messages will get fixed in next version of ubuntu

    • Jojo
      December 9, 2008 at 1:01 pm

      Thank you for the fix.

  12. User
    December 9, 2008 at 7:11 am

    run 'dpkg –configure -a' from command line. This should fix it.

    • rick
      July 22, 2009 at 8:12 pm

      where can i find the comand line

  13. Jojo
    December 9, 2008 at 4:37 am

    I followed the process installing the fonts but I got this message:

    E: dpkg was interrupted, you must manually run 'dpkg --configure -a' to correct the problem.
    E: _cache->open() failed, please report.

    everytime I launched Synaptic Package Manager. Can you please help me fix this. I'm a noob Ubuntu user. Many thanks.

  14. beemer
    December 8, 2008 at 9:56 pm

    sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras

  15. Free Xbox 360 Games
    December 8, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    Wow this useful. Thanks a lot.

  16. flibble
    December 8, 2008 at 9:01 pm

    Good guide but it doesn't install Tahoma which a fair few websites and a couple of apps (like Steam) need.

    If you are using Ubuntu, save this as and run it. It'll install msttcorefonts and extract Tahoma from a Microsoft file (perfectly legal) and set them up correctly for you.

    • Damien Oh
      December 8, 2008 at 9:30 pm

      Cool. Thanks for sharing.

  17. Sean Meyer
    December 8, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    Installing Ubuntu Restricted Packages in Add/Remove Programs (Applications -> Add/Remove...) installs Microsoft Core Fonts as well as lots of other useful things (support for various other audio formats (gstreamer plugins), Microsoft fonts, Java runtime environment, Flash plugin, LAME (to create compressed audio files), and DVD playback).

    I recommend anyone using Ubuntu do it.

  18. NDS
    December 8, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    How about

    sudo apt-get install msttcorefonts

    • Damien Oh
      December 8, 2008 at 9:29 pm

      that is covered in the article itself

    • Frank
      May 24, 2009 at 8:29 pm

      "Alternatively, if you prefer the terminal way, simply type the following command in your terminal.

      sudo apt-get install msttcorefonts"

  19. Dave
    December 8, 2008 at 12:57 pm

    i always thought that after installing system wide fonts in ubuntu you needed to rebuild the font cache first, with " sudo fc-cache -f -v ".

    • Damien Oh
      December 8, 2008 at 9:29 pm

      It is optional to rebuild the font cache. It will work even without the cache rebuilding

  20. Mackenzie
    December 8, 2008 at 10:25 am

    If you don't want to use Microsoft's proprietary fonts, the Liberation fonts Red Hat contracted are the same size as Arial, Times New Roman, and Courier, so your word wrap shouldn't break.

    Also, you can get over 300 fonts by doing sudo apt-get install ttf-larabie-deco ttf-larabie-straight ttf-larabie-uncommon if you have the Multiverse repository enabled.

    • Damien Oh
      December 8, 2008 at 9:28 pm

      Thanks. I gotta try out the 300 fonts myself.

  21. Vadi
    December 8, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    Even lazier, just click the link and done: