Getting Bold with Lubuntu Fonts

Posted: Wednesday, August 8, 2012 | Posted by Aaron Hampshire | Labels: ,
The basic font selection is fairly spartan in a fresh Lubuntu install. But it certainly doesn't need to remain that way.
The easiest way to install fonts is via the Synaptic Package Manager (Menu -> System Tools -> Synaptic). A quick search for font will reveal almost 600 font packages available for install. However, it is a bit difficult to know what any of these fonts look like. Are they decent? Worth the space?
One package is certainly worth your while, however. The ttf-mscorefonts-installer contains standard fonts we've all grown to love (or hate) like Arial, Georgia, Times New Roman, Veranda, and a few more.

To install, simply right-click the mscorefonts pacakge and select "Mark for Installation." Agree to the additional packages, if any, and hit the apply button at the top of the Synaptic window.
Another method to install fonts -- my preferred -- is the manual method. This method takes a little more time, but it also allows you to preview fonts and only install the typefaces you love.

First, we need a legal method for acquiring free fonts. There are a lot of font sites out there. Here are my favorites: [An aside here: You may be asking yourself why there is a Windows and a Mac option, but no Linux download option on some of these sites. To the best of my knowledge, the Mac option includes additional "resource files" that are no longer required for later versions of OS X. They are also not required for Linux. The Windows option is your best bet.]

So let's find a cool font. I like the "Mama" font on Urban Fonts and downloaded it.
Now, go to your newly downloaded .zip file, right click it, and chose the "extract here" option.
You will see your new fonts in your Downloads directory. Select and copy them.
To install them, direct the file manager to the location:
/usr/share/fonts
There are places where you can also install fonts in your home directory, but a font installation into your root directory will ensure the font is accessible to all programs and all users.

We now need to open this location with root access (Tools -> Open Current Folder as Root).
At this point, it really doesn't matter where you paste the fonts. The directories inside the fonts folder are really for organizational purposes. Therefore, I like to create my own font folder. Right click -> Create New -> Folder.
Name your folder whatever you wish. I like "My Fonts."
Finally, paste in your copied fonts.
Open up your favorite writing program, and you're in business.
A personal note: Some of you may be wondering why we should care so much about fonts. Check out the film, Helvetica. It's an incredible documentary about modern typefaces and their influence. Highly recommended.
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