How to Change Console Fonts in Ubuntu Server?


As a system administrator managing a remote Ubuntu Server, it can be hard to focus on the console's small and default font style. Moreover, in some cases, the default font can be unreadable or unattractive. Therefore, you might need to change the console font of your server to something more pleasant and easier to read.

The Benefits of Changing Console Fonts

There are several reasons why changing console fonts can be necessary or beneficial.

Better Readability

The default Ubuntu Server console font is small and may not be easy to read especially if you are working on an old monitor or one with low resolution. By changing the console font, you can improve readability considerably and avoid eye strain.

Easier Identification

If you work with multiple monitors or have a shared server among team members, customizing your console fonts can help differentiate between servers quickly at a glance.

User Preference

Some users prefer different fonts for various reasons such as legibility or aesthetics. By offering customization options users will feel more comfortable while performing their tasks since they have access to preferred types of fonts that fit their preferences.

High-level Overview of Changing Console Fonts in Ubuntu Server

Changing console fonts in Ubuntu Server may be necessary or beneficial for a variety of reasons. Perhaps the default font is difficult to read or doesn't suit personal preferences.

Whatever the reason, changing console fonts can be done with just a few basic steps. This section will provide an overview of the general process, which includes identifying available fonts, installing desired font(s), and configuring the console to use the new font.

Identify Available Fonts

Before you can install a new console font, you first need to determine which fonts are currently available on your system. In Ubuntu Server, this can be done fairly easily by checking the contents of the /usr/share/consolefonts directory. To do so, open up a terminal and type −

ls /usr/share/consolefonts/ 

This should return a list of available fonts that you can choose from.

Install Desired Font(s)

Once you've identified which font(s) you want to use, it's time to install them on your system. There are several ways to do this, but one common method involves downloading the font file(s) from an online source and then adding them manually to your system's font directory.

To download a new font file, simply search for it online (e.g., "Ubuntu Console Font Download") and save it onto your local machine. Once you have your desired font files downloaded onto your computer (they should have a .psf or .psfu extension), copy them into /usr/share/consolefonts using the following command −

sudo cp /usr/share/consolefonts/  

This command will copy over any .psf or .psfu files into your consolefonts directory so that they become available for use.

Configure Console to Use New Font

With the desired font(s) installed, the final step in changing console fonts is to configure the console to actually use them. To do this, you'll need to modify a configuration file called /etc/default/console-setup.

This file specifies various settings related to the console, including font size and type. Open up this file using your favorite text editor (e.g., nano or vim) and scroll down until you see a line that starts with −

# FONTFACE ``` Uncomment this line by removing the '#' at the beginning of the line, and then change "FONTFACE=" to "FONTFACE=" (without quotes). 
For example, if you installed a font called "monofur.psfu", your configuration line should read: ``` FONTFACE=monofur  

You can also specify other settings such as font size or color by modifying other lines in this file. Congratulations!

You have successfully changed your console font in Ubuntu Server! In the next sections we will learn how to find more fonts online and how to customize fonts for specific applications or users.

Identifying Available Fonts

Before changing console fonts in Ubuntu Server, it is important to know what fonts are available. By default, Ubuntu Server comes with a limited selection of console fonts.

To view a list of the available console fonts, you can use the showconsolefont command. To use this command, open a terminal and enter the following −

sudo showconsolefont

This command will display a list of available fonts along with their characteristics. You will see information such as font size, number of glyphs (characters), and name of the font file.

Downloading and Installing Additional Fonts

If you want to download and install additional fonts for use in Ubuntu Server, there are several options available. One option is to visit websites that offer free font downloads such as, Google Fonts, or Font Squirrel.

Once you have downloaded your desired font(s) to your computer, you must move them to the appropriate directory on your Ubuntu Server machine. The default directory for console fonts in Ubuntu Server is


To move your downloaded font(s) into this directory, copy them to your server using an SCP or FTP client such as WinSCP or FileZilla. To ensure that the new fonts are recognized by Ubuntu Server's font cache system, run the following command −

sudo fc-cache -fv /usr/share/consolefonts/ 

This command updates the cache for all installed system-wide fonts including those located within


Installing Desired Font(s)

Downloading the Font File(s)

To install a new font in Ubuntu Server, you will first need to download the font file(s). There are several websites available online where you can download fonts for free, or you may choose to purchase a commercial font. Once you have found the desired font, simply click on the download button and save the file to your computer.

Moving the Font File(s) to the Appropriate Directory

Once you have downloaded the desired font file(s), you will need to move them to the appropriate directory on your Ubuntu Server system. The default directory for fonts in Ubuntu Server is /usr/share/fonts/, but it is also possible to create a new directory specifically for your new fonts if desired. To move a font file to this directory, use either of these two methods −

  • Method 1 − From your terminal window, navigate to the location where you saved your downloaded font files.

    • Use sudo cp [fontname] /usr/share/fonts/ command with sudo privileges

    • Replace [fontname] with the name of your downloaded font file.

  • Method 2 − Open up Nautilus (the default graphical file manager in Ubuntu Server).

    • Navigate to /usr/share/fonts/ (or another folder that contains fonts).

    • Copy and paste or drag and drop your downloaded font files into this folder.

Updating the Font Cache

After moving your new fonts into place, you will need to update Ubuntu's cache so that it recognizes that there are new fonts available. You can do this using one of two commands −

sudo fc-cache --force --verbose 

this command tells Ubuntu server to update its cache of available fonts without deleting any old ones.

sudo fc-cache -f -v 

this command is a more aggressive approach that deletes and then regenerates the entire font cache.

Configuring Console to Use New Font

Once you have installed a new font, you need to configure the console to use it instead of the default font. This involves editing the console configuration file with your desired settings.


Changing console fonts in Ubuntu Server is a simple way to personalize your system and improve readability when working from the command line interface. While there are many available fonts to choose from out of the box, users can also install additional fonts and customize their configuration files as needed. By utilizing these techniques, Ubuntu Server users can make their work more efficient and enjoyable while using their favorite typeface.

Updated on: 24-Aug-2023


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