How to Get Smooth Fonts in Ubuntu

Fonts is an area which needs a lot of improvement in Linux. With the lack of good fonts, Linux applications and softwares always lack that smooth looking competition from the Windows GUI. Most of the fonts available by default on Ubuntu are just barely enough to work with and the others which we can install manually, lack the crisp and sharp font effect we get on windows.


I had covered installing fonts on Linux earlier. Now,  you might also like to add font smoothing to the fonts you install. This will improve the visual aspects of your Ubuntu installations remarkably.

To enable font smoothing for true type fonts,

  1. Go to your home directory.
  2. Press ctrl+h. This will enable showing hidden files.
  3. Lookup the  .fonts.conf file.
  4. Edit the file to make it look like this
  5. <?xml version="1.0"?>
    <!DOCTYPE fontconfig SYSTEM "fonts.dtd">
    <match target="font">
    <edit name="autohint" mode="assign">

That is all. Now logout and log back in. Your font should be smoother than before. To test this check the font rendering of a white text against a black background.

For more details, see original Ubuntu forums discussions here.

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Chinmoy Kanjilal

Chinmoy Kanjilal is a FOSS enthusiast and evangelist. He is passionate about Android. Security exploits turn him on and he loves to tinker with computer networks. You can connect with him on Twitter @ckandroid.