Fonts - they're pretty sh!t in Linux (on Ubuntu anyway) aren't they?

I spend a fair bit of time in and out of Inkscape - it’s one of my favourite OSS apps - it’s about 80% as powerful as CorelDraw (that other 80% is Corel’s mulptiple page document support, and unparalled bitmap tracing to vector), and I can do just about everything I used to do in Corel, in Inkscape…

So much so - I probably won’t bother even trying to find a CorelDraw that might work on OS X (probably haven’t done an OS X port since the PowerPC era), and I won’t bother with Adobe Illustrator’s massive learning curve. I’ll just use Inkscape on Mac :

I’ve taken delivery of a M1 8Gb Mac Mini today.
installed Inkscape and Rosetta and it flies.
so much quicker than my 2012 i5 Mac Mini with 16Gb of ram.
looking forward to working with it now.

But what I HATE - is the all the fonts that show up - none of the names are much of hint about what families they belong to - are they Times or Palatino related, or like Helvetica / Arial, seriphed or not (some have sans in the name - which is a hint) and many of them just have names that indicate which non-Latin character set they also support. I’m something of a typeface “fanboi” - entertained thoughts of being a signwriter when I was a teenager (until I failed the colour blindness test when a career guidance counsellor took me and my mate to a technical college), did a “ticket writing” course at night school when I was out of work as 17 / 18 year old. When I was a juvenile delinquent in inner city Melbourne, I used to “tag” graffiti using Old English characters :smiley: (mid / late 1970’s) - one of my tags lasted 10 years!

I mean what the F are “aakar” or “Chandas”?
Screenshot from 2021-07-06 18-16-51

Yeah - I guess I can just try and remember where Ubuntu installs its fonts, and maybe just delete them?

I’ve got archives of TTF font files dating back 20+ years (including about 4 fonts I made myself using CorelDraw [yeah way back when on Windows 3.11 with CorelDraw 3.0 - you could make your own TTF fonts!] and then Fontographer) - so I could just plonk them on my Ubuntu instead… and most of them only support US and UK English subset of the Latin character set - but - that’s all I need…

I think there’s even a Ubuntu package you can install with a simple “apt get” that will install all the “default” Microsoft fonts…

That’s my plan for the evening anyway - figure out how to get rid of ALL the useless fonts I’ll never use (mental note : keep : “Purisa” I actually use that one!). Then install the stock Microsoft truetype fonts as a package, then hunt through my archive and install the ones I think I’ll use…

It’s not a huge complaint, but it’s an annoying niggle, and it bugs me in applications like Libre Office and Inkscape - all those seemingly hundreds of fonts I will never use with (to me) meaningless names, getting in the way of fonts I’ll be more likely to use (mental note : don’t delete powerline or the ubuntu / gnome fonts used by gnome terminal :smiley: )…

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Lovely lovely Ubuntu with ZSH completion (command completion, in ZSH, seems more “complete” than the same feature in bash) :

╭─x@titan ~/MPZ/LinguaIgnota
╰─➤ sudo apt remove font<TAB TAB>
fontconfig fonts-liberation fonts-samyak-deva fonts-tlwg-kinnari-ttf
fontconfig-config fonts-liberation2 fonts-samyak-gujr fonts-tlwg-laksaman fonts-lklug-sinhala fonts-samyak-mlym fonts-tlwg-laksaman-ttf
fonts-3270 fonts-lohit-beng-assamese fonts-samyak-taml fonts-tlwg-loma
fonts-beng fonts-lohit-beng-bengali fonts-sarai fonts-tlwg-loma-ttf
fonts-beng-extra fonts-lohit-deva fonts-sil-abyssinica fonts-tlwg-mono
fonts-cantarell fonts-lohit-gujr fonts-sil-padauk fonts-tlwg-mono-ttf
fonts-dejavu fonts-lohit-guru fonts-smc fonts-tlwg-norasi
fonts-dejavu-core fonts-lohit-knda fonts-smc-anjalioldlipi fonts-tlwg-norasi-ttf
fonts-dejavu-extra fonts-lohit-mlym fonts-smc-chilanka fonts-tlwg-purisa
fonts-deva fonts-lohit-orya fonts-smc-dyuthi fonts-tlwg-purisa-ttf
fonts-deva-extra fonts-lohit-taml fonts-smc-gayathri fonts-tlwg-sawasdee
fonts-droid-fallback fonts-lohit-taml-classical fonts-smc-karumbi fonts-tlwg-sawasdee-ttf
fonts-freefont-ttf fonts-lohit-telu fonts-smc-keraleeyam fonts-tlwg-typewriter
fonts-gargi fonts-mathjax fonts-smc-manjari fonts-tlwg-typewriter-ttf
fonts-gubbi fonts-mlym fonts-smc-meera fonts-tlwg-typist
fonts-gujr fonts-nakula fonts-smc-rachana fonts-tlwg-typist-ttf
fonts-gujr-extra fonts-navilu fonts-smc-raghumalayalamsans fonts-tlwg-typo
fonts-guru fonts-noto-cjk fonts-smc-suruma fonts-tlwg-typo-ttf
fonts-guru-extra fonts-noto-color-emoji fonts-smc-uroob fonts-tlwg-umpush
fonts-inconsolata fonts-noto-mono fonts-taml fonts-tlwg-umpush-ttf
fonts-indic fonts-opensymbol fonts-telu fonts-tlwg-waree
fonts-kacst fonts-orya fonts-telu-extra fonts-tlwg-waree-ttf
fonts-kacst-one fonts-orya-extra fonts-thai-tlwg fonts-ubuntu
fonts-kalapi fonts-pagul fonts-tibetan-machine fonts-urw-base35
fonts-khmeros-core fonts-povray fonts-tlwg-garuda fonts-wine
fonts-knda fonts-powerline fonts-tlwg-garuda-ttf fonts-yrsa-rasa
fonts-lao fonts-sahadeva fonts-tlwg-kinnari

All I have to do is select (double click the string) all the ones I want gone and paste them with middle-button paste (not looking forward to the risk that won’t work in OS X), press enter, and they’re gone, out of my life forever and good riddance :smiley: :heart_eyes: :heart_eyes_cat:

– edit –

Whoops! Doh! Disaster! Accidentally removed Purisa with

sudo apt remove fonts-tlwg-\*

and fixed it with

sudo apt install fonts-tlwg-purisa\*

and - discovered one AWESOME feature with Inkscape on Linux, it’s dynamic! Add a font while Inkscape’s running and you can use it straight away! Haven’t stuff around with fonts in Windows for years, but I remember you couldn’t use a newly installed font in an application without exiting the app and reopening it…

I had a document open in Inkscape that was using Purisa font - it went “ordinary” (arbitrary font substitution algorithm - I think it attempts to replace with another one in the same “family”) - the soon as I re-installed those fonts, Inkscape “righted itself”!
– edit –
I’ve still got too many fonts, but I’ve culled about 30-40 useless fonts I’ll NEVER use and less clutter in apps when I’m looking for another font to use…

I use a lot of fonts from movies and computer games on thumbnails for videos. Have a lot of them, but make a share folder in .local folder, called fonts, rather than .fonts in your hidden home folder.

Nothing’s changed in ~8 months - the fonts that Canonical pre-install with Ubuntu are pretty much universally SHIT…

Like 25 variations on the same piece of crap! Utter garbage… and just WTF are all these :

  • cmmi10
  • cmext10
  • cmsy10

  • ad nauseam

Pretty sure this is still the same install of Ubuntu (20.04 on Ryzen 7) I complained about in July 2021…

I’ve since installed the MS core TTF fonts package so I can at least get Arial and Times New Roman :

sudo apt install ttf-mscorefonts-installer

And even though I removed a shitpile of shit fonts already - there’s too many HIDEOUS pointless fonts left over… Ubuntu really needs some kinda cleanup all the EXCESS baggage… And whoever made the decision to overload it with GARBAGE, should be taken down the back paddock behind the knackering shed and ended with a “kind” bullet, and out of our misery…

The main thing I use fonts in is Inkscape… And everytime I try to pick a font to use I’m DROWNING IN EFFLUENT there’s so many that barely look any different from one another!



Here’s an interesting page :

I’m guessing this is probably irrelavant to non-Anglophone / Latin alphabet users… I’m going to give his script a go anyway, but if you’re in India, South or East or South East Asia YMMV :

# Remove all oriental fonts in Mint 18 (surely OK for Ubuntu 16 as well)
for i in fonts-kacst fonts-kacst-one fonts-khmeros-core fonts-lklug-sinhala fonts-guru fonts-nanum fonts-noto-cjk fonts-takao-pgothic fonts-tibetan-machine fonts-guru-extra fonts-lao fonts-sil-padauk fonts-sil-abyssinica fonts-tlwg-* fonts-lohit-* fonts-beng fonts-beng-extra fonts-gargi fonts-gubbi fonts-gujr fonts-gujr-extra fonts-kalapi fonts-lohit-gujr fonts-samyak-* fonts-noto-unhinted fonts-noto-hinted fonts-navilu fonts-nakula fonts-orya-extra fonts-pagul fonts-sahadeva fonts-sarai fonts-smc fonts-telu-extra fonts-wqy-microhei; do
  sudo apt purge -y $i
echo "==== Fixing font cache"
sudo fc-cache -f -v && sudo dpkg-reconfigure fontconfig
echo "==== Packages remained (each containing multiple fonts)"
dpkg -l fonts\*|grep ^ii|awk '{print $2}'
read -p "Press any key to close."

I’ll probably save this script as something like fuck-off-fonts.bash. Hmmm I might think about his some more - Mint 18, I’m running Ubuntu 20.04 :
Improved version here :
– edit update –
I heavily edited Rik’s shellscript - I kinda hate Firefox, but I use it as a portable app anyway, stuck on whatever ESR version I copied into ~/sbin/fuckedfox folder (so it can’t force restart on me when I want to open a new tab). I made the libre office and firefox sections into separate functions that I don’t run. I’ve run it and I’ve still got like (exaggeration) 10,000,000 ugly fonts I’ll never f–king use!
– another edit update –
I did a “sudo apt purge fonts-mathjax” and that’s removed about 25 utterly useless fugly fonts I’ll NEVER use…
— rant over for today — :smiley: Peace and love brothers and sisters :heart_eyes:


As for Inkscape, there are some font defining files in:
etc/fonts/ and etc/fonts/conf.d
But I think, you can’t exclude the system fonts, just add user defined fonts, that are not installed

Just used this to prune the unnecessary fonts :+1:

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Amen, ditto, me too, and I agree. I would PAY (there are limits) for an app that would allow me to select the fonts that I want, and then REMOVE all the rest of them. When we do our OS installs, we are asked for our time zone and our favorite language… why punish 10,000 to meet the needs of 1?

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So glad I started this topic - I can refer back to it from time to time - like I just did now with Ubuntu 20.04.4 rebuild on this Thinkpad E495!

I’d forgotten what I’d called my version of Rik’s script!

- one thing I did notice - recent distro-hopping -

During Garuda’s endless “ass-istant” popup and nags, one of the options was to install like 35 BILLION ASIAN fonts, or not, and the default was “not”… Ubuntu when installing for UK, USA, Canada, Australia, most of Europe etc, should offer to NOT install 35 gazillion fonts you will never use!

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