I am having trouble installing some .ttfs that I earlier added to a Win7 system and now am trying to add to a 64-bit 12.04 LTS system. I initially installed the fonts to my /home/.fonts folder and all worked well (after sudo fc-cache -f -v the fonts were available in LibreOffice).

Later decided to remove them from /home/.fonts and install in /usr/share/fonts/truetype so the fonts can be used globally. First deleted from /home/.fonts folder and rebuilt cache. Check LibreOffice and they were removed successfully. Then copied in pasted into new folder /usr/share/fonts/truetype/myfonts and rebuilt cache. There was an "invalid cache" warning, so rebuilt cache again. No error this time. Rebooted, but fonts not available in LibreOffice. Went to tweaks/fonts section of Ubuntu Tweak, and the names of the installed fonts appear but the example characters below the names are black-bordered white rectangles (NOT "The quick brown..." in the selected font).

Uninstalled from /usr/share/fonts, reinstalled in /home/.fonts, and the fonts worked again in LibreOffice. Uninstalled from /home/.fonts, installed in /usr/share/fonts, not working again (this time used sudo fc-cache -rv).

Additionally, I downloaded a new font from the web and placed file in /usr/share/fonts. After sudo fc-cache -f -v this new font shows up working normally in LibreOffice. None of the others work, however, unless in /home/.fonts.

Last try (as per WebbyIT)- tried sudo mv ~/.fonts/name.font /usr/share/fonts/ for all of the fonts. They are now located in /usr/share/fonts and working on my administrator account. However, they still don't work for any other accounts (standard or guest).

Any ideas what the heck is going on??? I would still like to use these fonts globally.

  • 1
    Read permissions?
    – Emre
    Jan 14, 2013 at 6:33
  • 1
    LOL... how you can't access /usr/share/foo-moo-boo? :D Guests can read that, how you can't? :D Give output of cd /usr/share/fonts && ls -l
    – user45853
    Jan 14, 2013 at 18:54
  • total 15956 -rw------- 1 matty matty 95820 Jan 3 22:43 Optima-BoldItalic.ttf -rw------- 1 matty matty 101984 Jan 3 22:43 Optima-Bold.ttf -rw------- 1 matty matty 85824 Jan 3 22:43 Optima-ExtraBlack.ttf -rw------- 1 matty matty 112384 Jan 3 22:43 Optima-Italic.ttf -rw------- 1 matty matty 122744 Jan 3 22:43 Optima-Regular.ttf drwxr-xr-x 22 root root 4096 Jan 14 11:19 truetype drwxr-xr-x 4 root root 4096 Aug 23 11:56 type1 drwxr-xr-x 6 root root 4096 Aug 23 11:56 X11 Truncated for space, but all fonts list the same as optima Jan 14, 2013 at 19:08
  • @DoughnutJimmy comments like this should be added to the question via an edit operation.
    – user459652
    Oct 28, 2015 at 15:20
  • I have the exact same problem though my font permission are OK! :( Mar 19, 2019 at 7:53

2 Answers 2


Use move in terminal to move your fonts:

sudo mv ~/.fonts/name.font /usr/share/fonts/

After, rebuild your cache:

sudo fc-cache -f -v
  • Tried WebbyIT's answer. Fonts are now in the /usr/share/fonts folder instead of /home/.fonts, and they work in my administrator account. However, in my guest and standard accounts I still get the black-bordered white rectangle thing. Jan 14, 2013 at 18:21

This was a permissions issue. When following Emre & ZDroid's suggestions, found the permissions were at level 600 (-rw-------). For all fonts, I used:

chmod 644 fontname.ttf

and now all users can use fonts.

What probably happened is since I initially installed in /home/.fonts the permissions were set for admin-only usage, and even though I deleted them and reinstalled in /usr/share/fonts those permission levels were carried over.

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