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The fonts are both named "Monospace" but they don't look alike, I wonder why.

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"Monospace" is not actually a specific font. Fontconfig goes through its configuration as well as the various properties of all installed fonts to determine which are monospace fonts and uses the one with the highest priority when an application asks for "Monospace". Same with "Serif" and "Sans".

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Oh, makes sense now. So what's the font that monospace falls back to when using monospace on a new ubuntu installation? How can I know? Thanks. –  user170278 Jun 26 '13 at 1:20
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Open up Character Map, switch to Monospace, and right-click on an ASCII/Latin-1 character. –  Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Jun 26 '13 at 1:21
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Thank you very much! It's DejaVu Sans Mono (as of ubuntu 13.04) for those coming across this question. –  user170278 Jun 26 '13 at 1:32

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