I've just upgraded from 10.04 to 10.10 and my fonts are all just small rectangles with nothing in them. They are completely unreadable. EVEN THE FONTS IN THE TERMINAL.

Thank god the fonts in my Chromium were ok, because I wouldn't be able to find this site or write this message.

So far I've tried to use the Appearance - > Font thing and it doesn't work. For some reason there was an error with the fonts during the installation.

Please help, this is an utter nightmare...

  • 1
    All fonts and letters or just some? Can you post a screenshot? What graphics card do you use?
    – arrange
    Commented Feb 20, 2011 at 21:01
  • Sounds like some awful fontconfig trouble. That's black art, can't diagnose this, but try sudo fc-cache -s. And as last resort dpkg --force --purge fontconfig fontconfig-config and reinstalling them. (Do that from VT1 console)
    – mario
    Commented Feb 21, 2011 at 3:40

2 Answers 2


You said there was a problem during the upgrade? To make sure the upgrade is totally finished I suggest you try:

sudo dpkg --configure -a

Or try to reinstall Ubuntu fonts:

sudo apt-get install --reinstall ttf-ubuntu-font-family

You can also try to rebuild the font information files:

sudo fc-cache -f -v

Also if you have a .fonts.conf file in your home directory backup it and delete it or just move it:

mv ~/.fonts.conf ~/fonts.conf.inactive

Here is the 2023 update of the solution:

sudo apt-get install --reinstall fonts-ubuntu
sudo fc-cache -fv 

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