Before I start: I'm a Mac user whose 7 year old laptop is slowly dying and, wanting to support open-source software, I've been considering a Linux pre-loaded laptop as my next computer. In preparation for the shock of a new operating system I've been playing with Xubuntu as a VM on my iMac for the past couple of days. I love it but I have no idea what I'm doing really.

I am a typography enthusiast and as such can't do without gorgeous free fonts. So, despite feeling that the experiment was doomed to failure, I decided to download a heap of fonts and attempt to install them. They were all .ttf format, so I thought it should be possible, and I know where the fonts folder is so I can put them there manually if necessary. But...nope. I've been stalled by my number 1 problem since I started playing around with Linux: I CAN'T FIND THE DOWNLOADED FILES. AT ALL. So I can't do ANYTHING with them, because I don't know what they're called, or where they are, or even if they're there at all.

They were zips and automatically extracted when I downloaded them. At least, I ASSUME they automatically extracted, because the archive manager window appeared to show the files that had been extracted (when I downloaded the fonts Firefox asked me 'Open with Archive Manager?' and I said yes.)

As far as I remember it said they were extracted to the home folder. But, as mentioned previously, I can't find them. I've done a catfish file search for .ttf, all hidden files shown (I don't put much faith in Catfish, as I don't think it REALLY searches everything, but I was prepared to try anything). I also downloaded Fonty Python to see if it could find them; I got it to run through every folder and sub-folder on the virtual drive, but nope, it only found the Microsoft fonts that were already installed. I looked in the fonts folder myself just in case. No luck.

I have no idea what to do. It's like when I download certain things they just vanish without a trace. As a complete Linux newbie, maybe I'm missing something really obvious here...

2 Answers 2


By default, if you choose "Open with", Firefox downloads the file in /tmp.

By default, if you choose "Save file", Firefox downloads the file in the Downloads subdirectory of the home.


If you have problems with managing your downloaded files, better just select to download into a directory instead of opening with Archive Manager. That way, you would know where the archive is and extract it multiple times.

As for your lost files, you can find them by searching your whole system via terminal:

find / -type f -name "*.ttf"

In short, "/" stands for root directory, you can change it by simply indicating /home/yourname/ or any other location. -type f means that it's searching for files and -name "*.ttf" searches for all ttf extension having files.

Hope this helps :)

  • I ran that and the only files that came up were the Microsoft fonts (plus, weirdly, a heap of apparently system files that said "Permission denied"). I discovered a very useful time-saving feature in Firefox: in the Downloads window you can click on a little icon next to each download to open the containing folder. The weird part: I couldn't see any of the files I downloaded in the containing folder (tmp). I had show hidden files turned on. Curiouser and curiouser.
    – dbaker
    Jul 24, 2013 at 11:13
  • you see, tmp directory contains temporary files which usually are deleted whenever you close firefox or reboot your system (depends on the program). There's another feature in firefox - re-opening download page (right click on package to see this option) and redownloading the package.
    – psukys
    Jul 24, 2013 at 11:15
  • I had to redownload them all, but they're installed now! For some bizarre reason, archive manager doesn't automatically extract things. They were temporary files all right. Thanks for all your help.
    – dbaker
    Jul 25, 2013 at 4:40
  • It's not really bizarre, you see. Firefox offers only opening the chosen piece of software with downloaded package. Although, I believe, this can be tweaked into making that piece of software extract your archive, but that's another question :)
    – psukys
    Jul 25, 2013 at 6:49

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