The following question answers how to Adjust fonts using tweak tool but the luddite in me would like to know how to do this without installing unity-tweak-tool.

How can I adjust the default system font from a terminal.


gsettings offers a simple commandline interface to GSettings. It lets you get, set or monitor an individual key for changes.

  • You can set fonts by following commands in terminal :

    gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface document-font-name 'Sans 10'
    gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface font-name 'Ubuntu 10'
    gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface monospace-font-name 'Ubuntu Mono 11'
    gsettings set org.gnome.nautilus.desktop font 'Ubuntu 10'
  • To Know current settings type following commands in terminal :

    gsettings get org.gnome.desktop.interface document-font-name
    gsettings get org.gnome.desktop.interface font-name 
    gsettings get org.gnome.desktop.interface monospace-font-name
    gsettings get org.gnome.nautilus.desktop font


  • To find all similar keys on schema type following command:

    gsettings list-recursively org.gnome.desktop.interface
  • To reset all valuses of keys run following command in terminal:

    gsettings reset-recursively org.gnome.desktop.interface
  • Application developers and end-users are recommended to use Gsettings, not Dconf directly. – Pandya Apr 24 '14 at 8:49

Recent updates have been changing the font scaling factors on my system, reset them with this command...

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface text-scaling-factor '1.0'
  • Exactly what I was looking for, thanks! – Paul Voss Sep 12 '14 at 18:02

You can use dconf to change the default system font:

dconf write /org/gnome/desktop/interface/font-name "'NanumGothic Italic 11'"

To restore the original value:

dconf write /org/gnome/desktop/interface/font-name "'Ubuntu 11'"

Note: to check the current value, use the following command:

dconf read /org/gnome/desktop/interface/font-name
  • Deserves more upvotes. – don.joey Dec 7 '14 at 15:28

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