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I have installed Arabic language support using the language tool, but I am still unable to get this page to render correctly:

Which fonts do I need to install to stop seeing squares instead of Arabic characters? I would prefer fonts that are available in the Ubuntu repositories.

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any solution? and btw I found this – Bleeding Fingers Aug 4 '13 at 21:15

The Language Support section in Ubuntu lets you change the interface language, in other words, the menus, panels and other elements. It has nothing to do with the way a web page is displayed.

I am no expert in Arabic, but usually, if a web page is not displayed correctly, what you need to change is its character encoding,
View -> Character Encoding in Firefox.

The source code of the page has the following:


font-family: georgia, helvetica, times new roman, serif;
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The Language Support tool in Ubuntu will install additional fonts depending on the language you select, I believe. Therefore, it does affect the way web pages are displayed. That particular page is encoded correctly, the issue is that I don't have a font installed that contains that particular Arabic character. – Flimm Nov 21 '11 at 20:09
The problem for me was that the font-family got interpreted as "times new roman", which included (or refered to another font for) glyphs of some, but not all, arabic characters. Changing the font-family in css with firebug to have "scheherazade" as the first element renders all the arabic characters (correctly, I believe, but my arabic is very poor). This requires that one has fonts-sil-scheherazade package installed. Unfortunately, I don't know how to actually fix the problem, instead of mucking around with manual css trickery. – taneli Nov 18 '12 at 20:33

Try to install ubuntu-restricted-extras Install ubuntu-restricted-extras. It adds some more Microsoft fonts.

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i think that doesnt provide those fonts – Raja Oct 10 '12 at 14:31
Yes, installing ubuntu-restriced-extras adds some Arabic fonts such as Arabic Transparent, which is very useful when sharing documents with windows users. Thanks Moussab – Mijo Jun 25 '13 at 10:36

Now, fonts-hosny-amiri may be the best. Amiri is an Arabic Naskh style typographically oriented font.


Amiri is a classical Arabic typeface in Naskh style for typesetting books and other running text.

Its design is a revival of the beautiful typeface pioneered in early 20th century by Bulaq Press in Cairo, also known as Amiria Press, after which the font is named.

Amiri font covers the full Unicode 6.0 Arabic and Arabic Supplement blocks, as well as the compatibility Arabic Presentation Forms-A and B blocks.

Installation instructions:

  1. Enable universe repository

    sudo apt-add-repository universe
  2. Update package list

    sudo apt-get update
  3. Install the Amiri font

    sudo apt-get install fonts-hosny-amiri
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I cannot find that font: dpkg-query: no packages found matching ttf-hosny-amiri – BornToCode Feb 8 at 0:06
@BornToCode , dpkg-query seems to only packages that have been installed once at least. its name is fonts-hosny-amiri and it has a meta transitional package under font-hosny-amiri name. apt-file find amiri shows it as apt-file has its own contents database for all enabled repositories. See here where it is listed… . I have updated installation instructions. – Sneetsher Feb 8 at 8:31

Ubuntu font now supports arabic. It will be the default for ubuntu 16.04. You can download and try the font now from here:

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