font change on ubuntu

A quick and easy way way to give the Ubuntu desktop a fresh feeling is to change GTK theme, swap icon set, or add desktop bling with Conky, Covergloobus and company.

All great ways to give a dull desktop a distinctive makeover. But do you know what else can really affect the way your computer looks?

Your choice of font.

Yep, the right typeface sat alongside the right GTK theme or backdropped by a striking desktop wallpaper is a simple, straightforward way to enhance the look and feel of your Ubuntu PC.

Ubuntu uses ‘Ubuntu’ as its default desktop font, and has done since Ubuntu 10.10. Many Ubuntu flavors have chosen to use the typeface as their default system font too.

But all that similarity is a touch same-y. If don’t like the default font you can change it to something else. Perhaps you something more legible, less rounded, or better suited to your personality? Maybe you want to change Uuntu font size so that interface text appears bigger or smaller?

Whatever it is, here’s how.

How To Change Ubuntu Font

GNOME tweak tool fonts

It’s easy to change font on Ubuntu using the GNOME Tweaks app. This tool is available to install for free from the Ubuntu Software Center (and is something we recommend in our list of things to do after installing Ubuntu).

Don’t have GNOME Tweaks installed on your computer? You can install it by clicking this button:

Install GNOME Tweaks from Ubuntu Software Center

Or run this terminal command in a new terminal window:

sudo apt install gnome-tweaks

However you install it, once you do you you can start to tweak your system’s typography!

  1. Open GNOME Tweak Tool
  2. Go to the ‘Fonts‘ section
  3. Choose a new font for ‘Interface Text

Clicking on the font field lets you browse for an alternative typeface using an interactive font picker.

Changing font on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

On Ubuntu 20.04 changing the ‘Interface Text’ will also change GNOME Shell font too (meaning no additional hacks or workarounds are required).

To fully complete the look you may wish to change the ‘Legacy Window Title Font‘ too. This will ensure that any older apps you run respect your font choices.

Need some inspiration? Well, Pop!_OS uses Mozilla’s Fira Sans Book at size 10pt and a lot of people really dig the look of it. Want to try it? Just download Fira Sans and install it, then repeat the steps above.

You don’t need to change the ‘document’ or ‘monospace’ fonts unless you want to. The former will affect the font used in applications like Evince, while the latter will change the font used in command line applications like the GNOME Terminal.

Alternative monospace fonts include Cascadia Code and JetBrains Mono

Want to Reset Ubuntu Fonts?

To undo any font tweaks you make change the interface, document and window title fonts in GNOME Tweaks back to Ubuntu’s default settings, which are as follows:

  • Interface text – Ubuntu regular – 11pt
  • Document font – Ubuntu regular – 11pt
  • Monospace – Ubuntu monospace – 13pt
  • Legacy window title – Ubuntu bold – 11pt

Which fonts do you use on your Linux desktop? Reveal all in the comments below!

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