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Windows-based fonts don’t appear by default on Linux-based systems like Ubuntu. In most cases, this isn’t a huge problem, but if you want to improve compatibility between word processors, then it might be useful to have Microsoft fonts on your Ubuntu PC.

For instance, you might be a student, using a Windows PC at college, and your own Ubuntu device at home — or vice versa. You might have other versions for importing Microsoft fonts into Ubuntu, though. Perhaps you want the Verdana or Times New Roman fonts on your Ubuntu desktop. Or you might be working on some DTP or artistic project ArtistX: The Linux Distribution Tailored For Any Artist, Whether Graphical or Musical ArtistX: The Linux Distribution Tailored For Any Artist, Whether Graphical or Musical Read More , and need some Microsoft-originated fonts.

Either way, this is a straightforward change to make to your Ubuntu Linux computer.

Microsoft TrueType Fonts

Back in 1996, Microsoft released a package of fonts, called “TrueType core fonts for the web” with a licence giving any user permission to install them. Naturally, in true Microsoft style, the aim was for their fonts to become dominant.

Although cancelled six years later, the font pack is still available, and includes:

  • 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

You’ll probably recognize most of these; Times New Roman used to be the default text for Word (replaced by Calibri in 2007), while Impact is the sort of font that appears on posters around the word. And as for webdings…

Of course, you might not require any of these fonts. After all, Ubuntu and other distributions already feature a wide selection of adequate substitute fonts thanks to the inclusion of the Red Hat “Liberation Fonts” package. They’re not completely identical, but these fonts do use the same widths as the Microsoft fonts they replace.

Which is why you might want the real thing.

In short, if Microsoft fonts were installed in Linux, your Linux apps — anything ranging from LibreOffice Writer (which takes seconds to install How to Install LibreOffice 5.3 on Ubuntu in Seconds How to Install LibreOffice 5.3 on Ubuntu in Seconds LibreOffice just released version 5.3, an exciting update with all sorts of new features and improvements. Here's how to install it on Ubuntu now with one command. Read More ) to GIMP — would present them as options. LibreOffice could benefit from it, especially if you’re struggling to transition from Microsoft Word.

Install Microsoft TrueType Fonts in Ubuntu

In older versions of Ubuntu, it was possible to install these fonts using the Software Center, but this is no longer an option. Fortunately, you can just use the command line instead.

Launch the terminal, then use this command to install the ttf-mscorefonts-installer package.

sudo apt-get install ttf-mscorefonts-installer

Unusually, you’ll be prompted to agree to a Microsoft EULA (here’s how to understand an EULA 4 Ways To Read & Understand An End User License Agreement (EULA) More Easily 4 Ways To Read & Understand An End User License Agreement (EULA) More Easily EULAs, or End-User License Agreements, are one of the evils of modern life. These are endlessly wordy agreements, usually written in tiny print. These are the things you blindly scroll down, looking for that darn... Read More ). Now, this is the bristly bit: you might have reservations about this. Although these TrueType fonts have been made available for free, you’ll notice that they’re not open source. Also, the EULA has “Microsoft” pasted all over it.

But, if you aren’t a pure open source user, carry on, scrolling through the EULA with the Page Up/Down keys. Use Tab or the arrow keys to select Yes and agree to the EULA with Enter.

Once downloaded into your system, the fonts will be configured so that they can be used in the usual apps.

If you’re using a different Linux distribution, you may find that the ttf-mscorefonts-installer package isn’t available. However, an alternative should be open to you, under a slightly different name. A few minutes of research should turn this up.

Running a Dual Boot Windows and Linux System? Try This!

If you have both Windows and Ubuntu operating systems installed on the same PC, you don’t even need to download the fonts, as you already have them installed in Windows. This means that you can copy the fonts into Ubuntu.

More importantly, this is a great way to pull all manner of modern, cool fonts from Windows into Linux. ClearType fonts like Calibri can be added to your system this way.

In Ubuntu, you should be able to easily browse the partition where Windows is installed, using your default file manager Thunar vs. Nautilus: Two Lightweight File Managers For Linux Thunar vs. Nautilus: Two Lightweight File Managers For Linux Is Thunar a better file manager than Gnome's default, Nautilus? Read More . Next, you’ll need to copy fonts from the directory in the Windows partition to your Linux fonts directory.

mkdir /usr/share/fonts/WindowsFonts

Then copy the contents of the mounted Windows drive fonts directory into the WindowsFonts location:

cp /Windowsdrive/Windows/Fonts/* /usr/share/fonts/WindowsFonts

Change permissions for the directory and its contents:

chmod 755 /usr/share/fonts/WindowsFonts/*

Then regenerate the Linux fontconfig cache with


That’s all there is to it.

All Done? Test Your Fonts

As with anything, it’s worth checking that the fonts have been installed. The easiest way to check is to open LibreOffice Writer, or find an art package and create a text box. If they don’t look right, you may need to enable smoothing. In Ubuntu, this is handled by default. (On other Linux operating systems, you can fix it by checking the font settings (typically in the Preferences screen) and find the option to enable smoothing.)

Once you’re happy with the fonts, you can even set your favorite as a default option in LibreOffice writer. With the word processor running, open Tools > Options > LibreOffice Writer > Basic Fonts (Western) and select your preferred font. Click OK to confirm; all future documents you create will use these defaults.

For wider use of the new fonts, use Unity Tweak Tool (or GNOME Tweak Tool Configure Your Gnome 3 Desktop With Gnome Tweak Tool Configure Your Gnome 3 Desktop With Gnome Tweak Tool There aren't exactly a bazillion different customization options for just about anything, as GNOME 3/Shell is still relatively new. If you're one of those people who can't stand GNOME 3 as long as you cannot... Read More , or whatever suits your desktop environment It's Your Choice: The Top 10 Linux Desktop Environments It's Your Choice: The Top 10 Linux Desktop Environments From Gnome to KDE, from MATE to Unity, there's a lot of choice out there. Where should you start? Overwhelmed? Start here. Read More ) to apply the new fonts.

And if neither of the above methods worked for you, perhaps the slightly easier option of installing Microsoft Office on Linux How to Install and Use Microsoft Office on Linux (And Its Shortcomings) How to Install and Use Microsoft Office on Linux (And Its Shortcomings) Your PC runs Linux. How on earth are you going to install Microsoft Office, and use it without running into problems? Read More might solve your missing Microsoft fonts problem?

Have you installed Microsoft fonts on your Linux PC? How easy was it, and did the results meet your expectations? Tell us in the comments.

Image Credit: Sinart Creative via

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  1. Mike Walsh
    May 21, 2017 at 8:52 pm

    Done this many times in Puppy Linux. I run WINE, anyway, so simply d/l'd the 'CoreFonts' package via WineTricks, then copied them across the TTF directory at /usr/share/fonts/TTF. Very straight-forward.


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

    I can't find the package i have ubuntu 9.10

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

    Thanks so much.

  4. 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

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

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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

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

    Wow dude, thats pretty cool....

  9. 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 ;)

  10. 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.

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

    Wow this useful. Thanks a lot!!

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

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

    sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras

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

    Wow this useful. Thanks a lot.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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"

  20. 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

  21. 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.

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

    Even lazier, just click the link and done: