The first thing I noticed after I made that ‘switch‘ from XP to Linux is the firefox’s web fonts. It was way too ugly and extremely unpleasant to the eyes. I bet every new Linux user will complain about this and might get pissed off. This is certainly one thing that Linux Distro’s should work on on their future releases.

Anyway since I am a ‘convert’ now and currently using Linux Mint, I have no other option but to look for answers. I really don’t want to leave Linux simply by having this issue, I know there should be a way. Thank goodness! google has it. I mean the forum of Linux Mint has it, the search result was from google though. After following all the steps, you’ll see it’s great improvement and you’ll say that this is definitely MUCH better. There should be no reason now leaving Linux.

From speaker219 in Linux Mint’s forum:

  1. Open the ‘Terminal‘ window. Go to ‘Daryna‘ button > System > Terminal.
  2. Type this command: ‘ sudo apt-get install msttcorefonts ‘ without the quotes
  3. Once done, download this and extract all the files in ‘/etc/fontsfirefox2005 Fix and Get the Best Firefox Font in Linux

    Note: This might freak you out. You might get an error code like ‘Permission denied‘ while extracting. I think that it is a well protected folder and write permission for a regular user is disabled, so as a workaround just simply extract the files first to the desktop. To override it with write permissions, we need to use nautilus to open a new window with super user privilege. On the terminal type ‘ sudo nautilus ‘ and you will have now a window wherein you can paste the extracted file in the /etc/fonts folder.

  4. Lastly, turn off the computer then back on. You will see that firefox’s font are more sexier now.


Download this file, extract it to /home/$username/.fonts

If the directory doesn’t exist, just create it and paste all the contents there. To make it available for use to Firefox, then just do a right-click on your desktop click on change background themes, click the font tab and use the extracted file. It should look something like this.

font%20settings Fix and Get the Best Firefox Font in Linux

Check now your Firefox’s font rendering. Here’s mine.


before%20font Fix and Get the Best Firefox Font in Linux


after%20font Fix and Get the Best Firefox Font in Linux

For better surfing experience, download also the Firefox widget.


  1. 1
    January 24th, 2008 at 1:19 am

    Hey I was wondering if you can include Before and After pictures?

  2. 2
    January 24th, 2008 at 1:22 am

    Sure buddy. I’ll have it posted tomorrow morning. It’s late at night here. :)

  3. 3
    January 26th, 2008 at 10:38 am

    Didn’t work for me. Fonts in Ubuntu still suck badly. The bold characters are too heavy (the hole in the “e” nearly fills in) and the regular characters seem grainy and a bit thin. Yes I’ve done the MSTTcorefonts, hinting, smoothing. Nothing seems to have much effect.

  4. 4
    January 26th, 2008 at 10:47 am

    Hello. I don’t have a before/after comparison, but if you go to in a default Ubuntu/Mint installation, you can compare it to this after picture:

  5. 5
    January 26th, 2008 at 10:50 am

    Sorry for the double post, but here’s a before picture.

  6. 6
    January 26th, 2008 at 10:52 am

    I feel like an idiot for triple posting, but I just wanted to add this.
    When you compare these two screenshots, the improvement doesn’t look that great. But let me note that some websites look worse with the default Ubuntu/Linux Mint fonts. Some are so bad that the text will overflow and add an additional column, throwing the entire page layout. This should help you resolve that problem, and is also very helpful if your eyes are used to good ole’ Windows fonts. :)

  7. 7
    January 26th, 2008 at 4:53 pm

    Thanks speaker219 for dropping by and for the screen shots as well. I agree with you. That’s why I owe you a lot, you save my day bro!

    @ Lee

    I’m sorry that I didn’t work for you. On my case I use the same text configuration on my windows firefox after downloading the MSTTcorefonts. It did work fine.

  8. 8
    January 27th, 2008 at 7:35 am

    deric said that the links aren’t working…
    here’s a mirror of both

  9. 9
    January 28th, 2008 at 12:45 am

    I don’t really understand.. it looks like the “better fonts” look much worse then the default ubuntu fonts.. to me the windows fonts look very ugly..

    And about someone mentioning having a problem with the default ubuntu fonts viewing a website and messing up the design, theres probably a good chance that its the designers fault, not the fonts.

  10. 10
    January 28th, 2008 at 8:27 am

    I’m using Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon).

    I don’t know why fonts are so funky in Linux! This fix worked like a charm for Firefox, and I can’t thank you enough for it! The fonts are finally sharp, not a blurry mess anymore.

    I actually installed this fix after I played with another one that sharpened the fonts for all GNOME applications but not firefox. I’m not sure if your fix works for everything or just firefox alone, but here’s what fixes GNOME fonts (like those present in all the native Ubuntu stuff)

    I’m still having problems with OpenOffice fonts, but having fixed the fonts in the important areas makes me so much happier. Thank you!

  11. 11
    January 30th, 2008 at 2:07 am

    Hmmm thanks for the tips Shaun! As far as I know, it should work with every application of Ubuntu. I’ll try to check on that as well. Maybe speaker219 can give us more insights.

  12. 13
    February 12th, 2008 at 1:12 am

    These fonts are great. Thanks for solution.

  13. 14
    February 12th, 2008 at 3:28 am

    you’re welcome. spread the word! ;)

  14. 15
    April 17th, 2008 at 6:16 am

    This is great. Worked like a charm. I did not do the update step, because now a side-by-side compare of Windows machine and ubuntu machine looks very similar.

  15. 16
    May 16th, 2008 at 6:42 am

    Thanks! I could get fine fonts without the extra zip file, though.

  16. 18
    July 11th, 2008 at 4:51 pm

    It worked well for me. Thanks!

  17. 21
    todd d
    August 15th, 2008 at 12:32 am

    Sweet! Thanks!

  18. 23
    September 26th, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    Could you upload the first file again, that would be great.

  19. 25
    November 10th, 2008 at 6:29 pm

    Well this is all old news now. I have ubuntu 8.10 and just set up the Appearances – font settings (sub pixel shading and ‘slight’ hinting to sharpen fonts a touch).

    I have to say now that my fonts are silky smooth limited only by my monitor – and compare admirably with my friend’s Macbook, and look nicer than the Windows alternative.

    BTW these fonts are not supposed to be ‘Razor sharp’. The idea is to smooth them to make them look nicer – but they shouldn’t be fuzzy.

    Anyway, it’s pretty much fixed in Intrepid Ibex – and there are lots of great fonts available for download.

    I can testify, also, that if you compare the windows fonts to the linux fonts – on a properly set up machine with LCD display, the linux fonts definitely look better at all sizes – easy on the eyes and more legible.

  20. 26
    November 26th, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    Well, so far: so good.
    I’m trying your advices of Segoe


  21. 27
    January 7th, 2009 at 5:29 am

    ” Once done, download this …. ”

    The link is not exist anymore. Please re-upload!

  22. 28
    January 7th, 2009 at 9:33 am

    ” 3. Once done, download this and extract all the … ”

    Hey, dude. Where’s the file you talk about. Does it still exist? If not, please re-upload. Thanks.

  23. 29
    danny michel
    January 20th, 2009 at 11:47 pm

    the fontconf link is dead. please re-upload

  24. 31
    March 8th, 2009 at 11:27 am

    please re upload the font config, it’s not being hosted any more

  25. 32
    March 10th, 2009 at 10:49 pm
    for the missing file

  26. 33
    March 15th, 2009 at 8:39 am

    I have tried this also … but the result was not very good

    Then I have installed Opera 9.64 and the fonts are ok.

    If you don’t like or cannot use Opera I suggest you to change the Firefox preferences:

    Edit -> Preferences -> Fonts & Colors -> Advanced ->

    Proportional: Serif Size: 16
    Serif: Bitstream Vera Sans
    Sans-serif:Bitstream Vera Serif
    Monospace: Bitstream Vera Sans Size 12

    Allow pages to choose their own fonts… (unchecked)

    After it the fonts in Firefox become not perfect but readable

    Ubuntu 8.10 System -> Preferences -> Appearance
    without changes (Rendering – Best Shapes)
    I use crt monitor so I don’t need Subpixel smoothing.

  27. 34
    March 17th, 2009 at 2:56 am

    A good before and after picture is available at:

  28. 36
    April 15th, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    Doesn’t work for me. In Appearance Preferences window the segoe font does not appear. Maybe the directory is not detected with that path…?

  29. 37
    September 17th, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    download link in third step is dead
    could you pls, reupload that file?

  30. 39
    October 22nd, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    Once done, download this and extract all the files in ‘/etc/fonts‘ DEAD LINK

  31. 40
    January 5th, 2010 at 11:41 am

    Unfortunately Linux is replacing the Windows fonts because isn’t able display them, not all of them, installing msttcorefonts will not solve the entire problem. You can test setting the font-family for a page to Arial,Helvetica,Tahoma,Verdana,Sans-Serif, the size of the font will be much smaller with msttcorefonts.

  32. 41
    February 14th, 2010 at 12:51 am

    This is not a solution to font rendering – all you’re doing here is changing the font. If the previous font looks better in Midori and Opera than it does in Firefox (because of rendering in the web-page) then changing the font will not cure the problem at all!!!


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