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I'm currently running Ubuntu and a few other Linux distributions on my computer and since I use the TTY a lot, a good font is pretty important!

Does anyone know the name of the default console/TTY font used in Ubuntu and Debian?

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Which version of Ubuntu? 11.10 comes with a monospace variant of the Ubuntu font, but I'd be surprised if Debian used that one. – Michael Martin-Smucker Jan 22 '12 at 0:03
up vote 40 down vote accepted
  • Ubuntu Mono from the Ubuntu Font Family ( is the default GUI monospace terminal font on Ubuntu 11.10.
  • Terminus Font ( is the default font on the Linux console (Ctrl+Alt+F1, $ /bin/setfont /usr/share/consolefonts/FOO.psf.gz)
  • GNU Unifont ( is the default font for the CD bootloader menu, Grub bootloader, and alternate (text-based) installer where a software framebuffer is in use. (Unifont is full-coverage fall-back font).

Technical details

The GUI font is set, for Ubuntu, in the ubuntu-artwork package by a default setting in /usr/share/glib-2.0/schemas/ubuntu-artwork.gschema.override. The change was made in Bug #865013 on

2011-10-04 for Ubuntu 11.10. It's possible to query the value of this setting (the user may have overridden or changed it) with:

  • $ gsettings get org.gnome.desktop.interface monospace-font-name
    'Ubuntu Mono 13'

The configuration of the Linux Terminal consoles fonts is slightly more involved; there are a limited number of slots available for characters on the framebuffer, so the best subset is selected at package install time by the code in /var/lib/dpkg/info/console-setup.config with the result stored in /etc/default/console-setup.

As @Chen Xiao-Long notes, the console font subsets are built-up from a myriad of bitmap fonts sourced from different places; these are fully documented in /usr/share/doc/console-setup/copyright.fonts.gz. When the hinting-work in Ubuntu Mono reaches a high-enough level, then hopefully it will be possible to bitmaps exported from Ubuntu Mono instead, see Bug #724022, at least for the areas where we have coverage.

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Thanks a lot! It was exactly what I was looking for (especially the "Technical details" section) :D – Xiao-Long Chen Jan 28 '12 at 7:38
I was able to change the font size of my tty1-6 by configuring: /etc/default/console-setup which works well for mirroring a terminal from my laptop and a big-screen TV. – Aaron Hall Aug 1 '15 at 20:42

That's what I found in another post:

"Ubuntu Monospace comes preinstalled with Ubuntu 11.10 and it is the default terminal font."

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Yes, Ubuntu Mono ( is the default GUI monospace terminal font on Ubuntu 11.10. The Linux console (Ctrl-Alt-F1, /bin/setfont /usr/share/consolefonts/FOO.psf.gz) fonts are Terminus ( – sladen Jan 22 '12 at 0:03
@bioShark: Thanks for your answer, but what sladen posted was what I was looking fow :) – Xiao-Long Chen Jan 22 '12 at 0:43
@sladen: If you repost as an answer, rather than a comment, I'll accept it. – Xiao-Long Chen Jan 22 '12 at 0:44
@sladen Great info about Terminus – bioShark Jan 22 '12 at 3:47
@sladen: Actually, after looking at the source code for the package containing the fonts (console-setup), only some of the fonts are Terminus. According to my /etc/default/console-setup file, the default font is Fixed16, which is made from georgian16.bdf, unifont.bdf+h16.bdf, etl16-unicode.bdf. Do you know where those came from? Thanks! – Xiao-Long Chen Jan 22 '12 at 22:31

Well, I've just figured out the correct answer for Xubuntu 14.04 in TTY (text-only mode, no X), it's this one: /usr/share/consolefonts/Uni2-Fixed16.psf.gz

I've compared the default console (CTRL-ALT-F1) with modified console (CTRL-ALT-F2), where I walked through:

for i in /usr/share/consolefonts/Uni*; do setfont "$i"; ls -l /proc/; echo -e "\nINFO: currently set font: $i"; sleep 2; clear; done

(I'd been interested in unicode fonts only)

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it might be also Uni3-Fixed16.psf.gz, I cannot see any difference between Uni2 and Uni3. – crysman Jul 5 '14 at 16:17

You can try the True Type (and GNU licensed) version of Fixed Sys.

It's not perfectly equal, but it's the most faithful version I've found. Take a look and enjoy ;)

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