What is the closest alternative font of Times New Roman in Ubuntu 12.10? Is it serif or sans serif or something else ?

I have installed msttcorefonts already. Now in my Latex document I am preferring not to use Times New Roman as I found after a little browsing that there may be issues when compiling with pdflatex. I am preferring to stick to pdflatex, at least at this moment. This is the reason for asking the closest alternative.


5 Answers 5


According with Linux Font Equivalents to Popular Web Typefaces, FreeSerif may be what you need (considering that you do not want to install other fonts):


  • 1
    Now that looks nice :) Have an upvote from your competitor :D
    – Rinzwind
    Sep 17, 2013 at 7:12
  • 1
    For anyone else confused by the image, the ugly typeface in which the word 'FreeSerif' is set is not FreeSerif. The 'Source' is Times New Roman and the 'Comparison' is FreeSerif.
    – sjy
    Oct 26, 2019 at 1:14

Liberation is the collective name of four TrueType font families: Liberation Sans, Liberation Sans Narrow, Liberation Serif and Liberation Mono. These fonts are metrically compatible with Monotype Corporation's Arial, Arial Narrow, Times New Roman, and Courier New (respectively), the most commonly used fonts on Microsoft Windows operating system and Office suite, for which they are intended as free substitutes.

enter image description here

  • Note that "metrically compatible" is often very useful, but it doesn't necessary mean "looks the same", as the screenshot demonstrates (most easily visible on the C, W, 6, 9 and &, IMHO. Sep 17, 2013 at 12:39
  • Boo... no deb package :( sudo apt-get install fonts-liberation,
    – Braiam
    Sep 19, 2013 at 20:38

What is the closest alternative font of Times New Roman in Ubuntu 12.10? Is it serif or sans serif or something else ?

I don't know which exact font of those that come by default with Ubuntu 12.10 would be the closest visually to Times New Roman (though Liberation Serif seems a good fit), but:

  • "serif" fonts have serifs. That's the little ornament or line at the end of the glyph lines. Serif fonts are typically used in print for large blocks of text, as they are generally considered easier to read when the resolution is high enough to properly render the serif.

  • "sans serif" fonts lack serifs (that's where the "sans" comes from; it's French for "without"). The ends of the glyph lines are straight and terminate abruptly. This is commonly used when the font size is small relative to the medium's resolution or dot pitch, because the extra ornamentation at the end of the glyph lines would obscure the shape of the glyph itself. Examples of sans-serif fonts include many fonts normally used for headlines, fonts used for computer screen menus, and so on.

It follows from the above descriptions that Times New Roman is a serif font. Hence, to find something similar, you want to look at other serif fonts.


I think FreeSerif is the closest:

enter image description here

I guess it’s pre-installed in Ubuntu, by the way you can download it from FontSpace.

  • the font project is located here: gnu.org/software/freefont and the download option is located here: ftp.gnu.org/gnu/freefont If I recall right there is a section that goes over the appropriate font dependent on the operating system and each font is individual as there are updates to the family. Nov 13, 2017 at 3:12

The PostScript language defines 35 core fonts in PostScript 2. Among them is the serif font family Times. Times was Linotype's copy of Monotype's Times New Roman, which was commissioned for The Times in 1931. A properly configured system should automatically substitute one of the following fonts, if available.

  • Microsoft has included Times New Roman with its operating systems. Since Adobe chose Linotype's Times for use in its products, Monotype was forced to modify the original design to fit Times metrics. There was also a bitmap version "Tms Rmn", which was later renamed "MS Serif". (ttf-mscorefonts-installer)

  • Red Hat commissioned a set of fonts designed to be metrically compatible with Microsoft fonts. The equivalent of Times New Roman is Liberation Serif. They have a significantly different look and feel from the original fonts. (fonts-liberation2)

  • Google commissioned the Croscore fonts, designed to be metrically compatible with Microsoft fonts. They appear to be slight modifications of the Liberation fonts. The Times New Roman equivalent is Tinos. (fonts-croscore)

  • URW released open-source clones of the 35 Postscript fonts for ghostscript. The Times equivalent is Nimbus Roman. The metrics are slightly different from Times New Roman.

  • GUST TeX Gyre is based on the URW fonts. The Times equivalent is TeX Gyre Termes. (fonts-texgyre)

  • GNU FreeFont is apparently based on the URW fonts, but metric compatibility was not retained. The Times equivalent is FreeSerif. (fonts-freefont-ttf)

Other fonts of interest:

  • STIX fonts were developed by the Scientific and Technical Information Exchange project to provide a comprehensive set of mathematical symbols and alphabets for the scientific and engineering community. They have a Times-like design, but do not appear to be metrically compatible. Apple has included these fonts with some of its products.

  • PT Astra Serif was developed by ParaType for use with Astra Linux. It is metrically similar to Times New Roman.

See also.

Times-like fonts


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