Since 10.10 we have the wonderful new Ubuntu sans serif font. If everything goes well 11.04 will bring a great looking new monospace font.

It would only be a logical step to also develop a serif font! This way, the Ubuntu experience would get its definite touch. It could for example give a very special web experience as proposed and supported in this post, by covering the three major font families.

Now of course the question remains, are there any plans for this?

  • I'd be glad to ask Ivanka Majic or so on Twitter about this issue, but I do not have an account there. Anyone else :)?
    – Ingo
    Feb 15, 2011 at 19:30

4 Answers 4


When and if an Ubuntu Serif counterpart happens depends on who comes forward with plans and finds the skilled font designers/engineers who can make an Ubuntu Serif! See more discussion on:

  • Bug #720332 Expansion: Ubuntu Serif font style (comment #2)

The initial focus has been on building a firm foundation for the Ubuntu Font Family (style, quality, coverage). For the "bootstrapping" phase, Dalton Maag have been taking the lead with the initial drawing and engineering. The result will hopefully be a beautiful, highly-readable set of screen-optimised fonts, covering:

  • Five scripts: Arabic, Cyrillic, Greek, Hebrew, Latin
  • Thirteen fonts: Ubuntu (×4), Ubuntu Mono (×4), Ubuntu Light/Medium (×4), Ubuntu Condensed (×1)

With this foundation built we can hopefully all transition the project over to being "drawn by everyone". If you'd like to contribute a script, style, or font to the project please find a local skilled type designer and start working with them on it, it may also be possible to arrange some internships if you know a budding student! The philosophy behind Ubuntu is that "everyone should be able to use Ubuntu in their native language" and that includes excellent font coverage for their own language too!

Making a font (let alone thirteen!) takes a very, very long time so it's worth getting started on making connections. The end result will be seen and used by tens of millions of people, making each of their lives easier in the process:

  1. Find a type designer who is interested
  2. Work with them to make a beautiful, complementary and hinted expansion

This shouldn't be about just about making an Ubuntu Serif typeface "for the sake of it". The result is definitely worth doing if it will be truly better than the libre/open fonts that are already out there, or shipping in K/Ubuntu already!


By the time this question gets 10,000 views (get cracking, publicists!), there will (I predict) be serious plans in place.

The groundswell of popular support for a serif version of the brilliant Ubuntu font will have created a buzz so loud so that with its crescendo, even hard-headed Canonical will bend its ear to popular sentiment, inciting their brilliant design team to crank out another masterpiece.

Designers will immediately proceed apace to their drawing boards and pants-pocket-memo-pads summoning the eudaemons of design and the flickering forces of CAD.

Font-faces will tremble, quiver, and resolve themselves into seraphic serif forms. Small nibs will become the structures that form the serifs on the letters. Ubuntu Serif will be born.

That, or (as Marco implies) someone will fork it. Eight forks and thirteen and a half iterations later, you will have your serif font. (Although it may very well take three pizzas and five energy drinks too.)

Also, here is the wishlist bug item I opened on launchpad . Please add yourself if you are interested (and let me know if I've hashed-up something with the bug report).

On 2/17/11, Bruno Maag updated the wishlist item:

We definitely would love to do it! But unfortunately, there are no plans, afaik. I think we need to focus on driving the current Ubuntu font suite forward, completing the current set for May and then expanding the fonts with language and other support. Chinese is increasingly becoming a requirement since successful localisation depends on a good Chinese design with comprehensive glyph support.

  • 1
    I'm tempted to accept your answer because of its striving optimism and faith in the community :).
    – Ingo
    Feb 17, 2011 at 16:08
  • So..why dontcha?
    – djeikyb
    Feb 18, 2011 at 1:18

After some in depth research there doesn't appear there are plans for this in 11.04, according to the Ubuntu Font Family Blueprint There is no mention of Serif - though there is no mention of what the future will hold past Natty. However, as development was heavily protected and done mainly by Dalton Maag and the Canonical team.

It's now openly available; meaning if so inclined your or another community member can fork, create, and propose for merge a Serif version. While I'm fairly confident there will be a Serif version of the Ubuntu Font will exist before the next LTS I'm not sure - and there doesn't appear to be any planning past 11.04 - so I can't confirm it.

For the best response I would recommend posting a "Wishlist" item on the Ubuntu Font Family bugs


The Ubuntu font was designed primarily for the Ubuntu interface. It was decided to make it a sans-serif font.

The monospace version you mentioned was created because in Ubuntu the terminal requires a monospace font to look good. (Look what happens if you use the current Ubuntu font in gnome-terminal.)

I can't see where a serif variant would be used in the Ubuntu interface. For this reason I doubt Canonical will go to the effort of producing serif font.

I admit to having no sources for this, it is purely my opinion. So for a more definitive answer keep an eye on jgbelacqua's wishlist bug.

  • If there were to be a serif variant, I imagine something along the lines of Museo in the Ubuntu font style might be a better compliment than a traditional serif font.
    – misterben
    Feb 17, 2011 at 9:58

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