From the google fonts repo (github.com/google/fonts/) I installed all fonts by:

git clone https://github.com/google/fonts/    
cp `find fonts -name *ttf` ~/.fonts

That worked and I can use all fonts from Ubuntu. I was wondering if there is a downside to installing too many fonts? Does the fact that I have almost half a gig of fonts now mean that they are all loaded to memory on boot or every time I open a word processor?

~$ du -sh .fonts
454M    .fonts


Edit, number of fonts:

~$ find ~/.fonts -name *.ttf | wc -l
  • Interesting question! Can you add how many fonts that is? Like counting by find ~/.fonts -name '*.ttf' | wc -l or so? May 13, 2015 at 4:30
  • @VolkerSiegel: Updated question, 1691 fonts.
    – Tezi Konj
    May 13, 2015 at 15:44

2 Answers 2


With about 1600 variants - I think bold, italic etc have a separate ".ttf" file which were counted here, you will have about 400 fonts

To handle them all in the normal user interfaces for text input has some drawbacks:

  • These font chooser interfaces are mostly linear, so it may take more time to find a font.

  • There may be performance problems with handling the fonts it the implementation is not expecting to handle this amount. That could be easily apparent, but it could also be in unexpected places, like seldom used programs or uncommon features. But overall, It's mostly a problem when font-related menus or dialogs open with a delay.

  • There will be fonts that you will not want to use ever. But you spend time scrolling past them every day, wasting time. And maybe there are times when you really only want to work with your three prefered fonts.

There is a tool that can reduce part of these problems, and make it quite feasible:
The tool that can manage groups of fonts, and activate or deactivate them - where deactivation means making them not installed, seen from the X font system, while the tool keeps track of them.

If, from time to time, you arrange the fonts that you will "never" use in a group, and others that you will "normally not" use, and disable these, you will hide lots of fonts over time.

  • This reduces the long scrolling along useless fonts
  • Performance problems will be reduced, depending on the size of number of fonts kept active; Suspected cases of font-related performance issues can easily tested by changing between large and minimal active font sets.
  • You can keep away the fonts you will never use - not deinstalling them allows to change your mind for unforeseen reasons, and to check against th e list of names if you happen to get hold of a similar collection of fonts.

A suitable tool to manage fonts seems to be font-manager.
There is also fontypython - which is quite powerful in it's features, but has a very convoluted user interface, so that I can not fully endorse it.


The version of Font Manager in the Ubuntu repositories is very outdated, broken even.

There is a PPA which tracks the latest GIT.

This is the homepage.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.