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Ubuntu Font

Ubuntu is a family of Open-type based font and designed to be a humanist-style and modern typeface by foundry Dalton Maag (London-based type) along with funding via Canonical Ltd. Nearly, the font was in its development phase for 9 months along with just a limited starting release from a beta software program until 2010 September.

Then, it was that it became the Ubuntu operating system's default font in the 10.10 version of Ubuntu. The designers of Ubuntu font include Trebuchet MS fonts, Comic Sans creator, and Vincent Connare.

Note: The font family of Ubuntu is licensed upon the Ubuntu Font License.

The font family of Ubuntu is a collection of matching new open/libre fonts during 2010-2011 in development. This development is being financed by Canonical Ltd to support the Ubuntu project and the large Free Software community. The technical implementation and work of fonts are done by Dalton Maag.

The final font the design file and the OpenType/TrueType file used for producing the family of font is shared upon the open license and we are encouraged for improving, sharing, modifying, and experimenting.

The new font family of Ubuntu was begun for enabling the Ubuntu personality to be felt and seen in all menus, dialogs, and buttons. The sans-serif typeface uses OpenType aspects and it is manually referenced for clarity over mobile and desktop screens of the computer.

The scope of the font family of Ubuntu contains every language used by several users of Ubuntu in the world with the philosophy of Ubuntu which states that all users can use their program in the language they wish. Hence, the project of the Ubuntu font family will be increased for covering many other written languages.

Note: Canonical and Ubuntu are Canonical Ltd's registered trademarks.

Features and History of Ubuntu Font

The font was initially introduced in 2010 October along with the release of the 10.10 version of Ubuntu in four different versions like Bold Italic, Bold, Italic, and Regular in English. The coverage of the expanded language and additional fonts were introduced in April 2011 with the 11.04 version of the Ubuntu release. The final development is proposed for including a total of 13 fonts composed of:

  1. Ubuntu condensed in only Regular.
  2. Ubuntu Medium in Italic, Regular.
  3. Ubuntu Light in Italic, Regular.
  4. Ubuntu Monospace in Bold Italic, Bold, Italic, and Regular.
  5. Ubuntu in Bold Italic, Bold, Italic, and Regular.

Initially, the monospace version (used in terminals) was planned for shipping with the 11.04 version of Ubuntu. Although, it was delayed and rather shipping with the 11.10 version of Ubuntu as the system monospace font (default).

The font is completely Unicode compliant and includes Latin B and A sets of expanded character, Cyrillic extended, and Greek polytonic.

It has become the initial native OS font in addition to including the sign of the Indian rupee. The font has been primarily designed for use over displays of the screen, and its kerning and spacing are optimized for sizes of body copy.

Usage of Ubuntu Font

The font family of Ubuntu is the font (default) for the development and current versions of the Ubuntu OS and it is used for the project branding of Ubuntu.

The font family of Ubuntu has been added in the directory of Google Fonts, making it available easily for web typography. It is added for use within Google Docs as of 26 April 2011.

Prominently, Ubuntu monospace was used in the Transistor video game (2014). Also, Ubuntu bold-italic was used in the logotype of Bitcoin with the symbol of Bitcoin.

The License of Ubuntu Font

The license of Ubuntu Font is a license, i.e., "interim" that is designed for the font family of Ubuntu, which has applied the license from the 0.68 version. This license is based on a SIL Open Font License.

The license of Ubuntu font permits the fonts to be redistributed, modified, studied, and used freely along with the terms of the license. The license can be described as copyleft and every derivative works should be shared under a similar license. Using the fonts, documents aren't needed to be licensed upon the font license of Ubuntu.

Debian and Fedora have reviewed the license and concentrated on modification permissions and ambiguous use.

1.0 version


This license permits the licensed fonts to be redistributed, modified, studied, and used freely. The fonts containing derivative implements could be redistributed, embedded, and bundled given the terms and conditions of this license are matching. However, the derivatives and fonts can't be published under other licenses. For fonts, this requirement for remaining upon this license doesn't need any document made with the fonts or derivatives to be released under the license, as far as the primary goal of the document isn't to be a way for the distribution of the fonts.


Dalton Maag is a font foundry specializing (international) in digital font and type design production. The enterprise was detected in 1991 by Bruno Maag (Swiss typographer) and has developed over the years for becoming the most famous type of foundry in the world.

With a multicultural and multinational group drawn from eighteen nations, the clients of Dalton Maag span every sector of industry and contain several most recognized brands of the world.


Some important definitions related to Ubuntu Font are explained below:

  • The "Font Software" defines the group of files published by the Copyright Holder upon the license and is marked clearly as such. It may contain documentation, build scripts, and source files.
  • The "Original Version" defines the set of components of the font software as received upon this license.
  • The "Modified Version" defines any derivative created by adding to substituting or deleting any component of an original version in whole or in part by modifying formats or shipping Font Software to a fresh new environment.
  • The "Copyright Holder" defines every company and individual who has Font Software's copyright ownership.
  • The "Substantially Changed" defines the Changed Versions that can easily be recognized as unlike to the Font Software through the users of the Font Software measuring the Modified Version to the Original Version.
  • For "Propagating" a work defines that do anything using it without permission will make us secondarily and directly responsible for infringement upon the law of applicable copyright, except running it on a system or changing a private copy.

Besides, propagation contains distribution (without or with change and without or with Charging a fee for redistribution), copying, and making existed to the public as well as in a few enterprises other tasks.

Conditions and permissions

This license doesn't grant the rights under the law of trademark and every right is reserved.

Hereby, for propagating the Font Software, the permission is granted at no cost to the person getting the Font Software's copy, subject to the following conditions:

  1. Every Font Software copy should have this license and the copyright notice which are mentioned above. These could be included either as the accurate fields of machine-readable metadata, human-readable headers, or stand-alone files of text within binary or text files as long as the fields could be viewed easily by the user.
  2. The name of the font satisfies the below:
    1. The Original Version should retain its unmodified name.
    2. Modified Version which is Changed substantially should be entirely renamed for avoiding the name usage of the similar name or the Original Version.
    3. Modified Version which is not Changed substantially should be renamed for both:
      1. retains the Original Version name and
      2. include additional elements of naming for distinguishing the Modified Version using the Original Version. Such Modified Version name should be the Original Version name, along with the "X derivative" where X illustrates the new work name, appended to the name.
  3. The Copyright Holder name and the Font Software contributor shall not be used for advertising, endorsing, or promoting a Modified Version, excluding:
    1. as needed by this license
    2. for acknowledging the Copyright Holder contributor
    3. using their written permission explicitly.
  4. The Font Software (unmodified or modified), in whole or in part, should be distributed under this license entirely, and should not be distributed upon other licenses.

For fonts, the requirement for remaining under the license doesn't affect a document made with the Font Software, excluding any Font Software versions that are extracted using the document made with the Font Software that might only be distributed upon this license.


The license becomes void or null when any conditions are not matching which are mentioned above.

Further information on Ubuntu font license

Presently, the font family of Ubuntu is distributed upon the font license of Ubuntu. It means that we can use these fonts in much the similar way as we will use other fonts (proprietary or open).

The open defines the long run, in other words, the font could continue to be improved, as the design files (raw source code) for the font have existed to those who are implicated.

All users are most welcome for using the font family of Ubuntu, in our documents, company stationery, logos, or graphic designs.

For those wanting to expand or alter the Ubuntu font

The current 1.0 version of the Ubuntu Font License is inspired through the 1.1 version of the SIL Open Font License. Using the 1.0 version of the Ubuntu Font License is a provisional solution and the license choice will likely modify as substitute licenses become exist in the future.

Note: The SIL Open Font License and the Ubuntu Font License are not identical and shouldn't be confused with these two.

To accurately license the derivative of our font upon the Ubuntu Font License we should:

  • Add the information of our copyright into a dedicated placeholder within the copyright.txt on the top of our file tree and modelled over the example added in this tree.
  • Add the ubuntu-font-license-1.0.txt copy using this tree.
  • Enter the text with copyright.txt using the placeholders accurately filled in on the top of the files, to be clear about licensing and ownership for those files in specific. In both sources and objects, fonts have many fields of dedicated metadata for holding license and author information. We should use these for including the corresponding information.

Installing new fonts on Ubuntu and other distributions of Linux

Ubuntu provides a collection of fonts that can be installed in it by default. However, at times we might not be happy with the fonts that are already available on our system. If that is the case, we can install other fonts on Ubuntu OS or any other distribution of Linux like Linux Mint.

Install a fresh font on Ubuntu

Usually, the fonts come in Open Type (short for (OTF) and True Type (TTF) formats of files. We can install or use either the OTF or TTF in Ubuntu.

Step 1: Download Fonts

We need to first download the fonts that we want to use. We can get a few fonts that are freely available on Google Fonts Website. Also, we can find fonts at Font Squirrel or Lost Type.

Ubuntu Font
Ubuntu Font

Step 2: installing the fresh fonts

Usually, the fonts are in a zip format that we have downloaded from the website. We can extract the font zip file in Ubuntu by right-clicking on the file and choosing the extract option.

Ubuntu Font
Ubuntu Font

We need to now go to the extracted folder and find .otf (OpenType Fonts) or .ttf (TrueType Fonts) files.

Ubuntu Font

We need to only double-click on that font file whichever it might be. The system will open this file in the Font Viewer Application. We can see here an option inside the top-right side for 'installing' the font.

Ubuntu Font

We would not find anything that is being installed as we find if installing an application. We will find that the status has been modified to "Installed" a couple of seconds later. Now, no prizes to guess that our font has been successfully installed.

We can see the installed fonts in the applications that use fonts like Pinta, GIMP, etc once installed.

Installing multiple fonts at once in Ubuntu

It is an alternative to the step that is mentioned above. Assume, we have 10 new fonts for installing. But, installing every font by double-clicking one by one is inconvenient and cumbersome.

All we need to do is to make a directory, i.e., .font if it does not available in our Home directory for installing multiple fonts at once in our system.

Step 1: Make .fonts directory inside our Home directory

  • We need to go inside our home directory.
  • Press the shortcut keys that are Ctrl+H for showing hidden files in Linux Ubuntu.
    Ubuntu Font
  • We need to right-click to create a fresh folder and name this folder .font.
    Ubuntu Font

Note: In the starting, the dot (.) is essential. If we put a dot before the name of the file, it will hide our file from general view in Linux.

Step 2: Put the files of fonts in the directory

We need to copy our files of fonts and paste these files in the directory, i.e., .font that we have made in the above step. We do not need to do anything else. Now, these fonts would be available for us and we can use them whenever we need them.

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