Is there a way to set a specific TTF font to be used on the console? (I believe you might have to convert it to a bitmap font?)

If it needs to be converted, what tools can I use to do the conversion? Otherwise, how do I pick Ubuntu Monospace for my console font?

(I already have the Ubuntu Monospace font installed from the beta PPA for it.)

Edit: I already set gnome-terminal to use Ubuntu Mono. Now I'm wanting to set the all-text screens I get when I press Ctrl+Alt+F1 to use the same font.

  • On 11.04 Appearence>Fonts>Last option, it has to be a Monospace font. Or using gconf-editor: desktop/interface/monospace_font_name. Sep 30, 2011 at 22:32

2 Answers 2


By joining the font beta testing team, the PPA details given in the sign-up email let you enable a Personal Package Archive that contains:

  • fonts-ubuntu-font-family-console ("Ubuntu Font Family Linux console fonts, sans-serif monospace")

after enabling the PPA you can do:

  1. Ctrl+Alt+F1
  2. sudo apt-get install fonts-ubuntu-font-family-console
  3. setfont /usr/share/consolefonts/UbuntuMono-R-8x16.psf

Note that the font hinting that enables the bitmap generation is still a work-in-progress by Vincent Connare at Dalton Maag. Please give feedback about the look of the 8×16 rendering to bitmaps and how they could be improved at:

PPEM means "pixel per em" and is the number of pixels allocated to the design square when rendering at any size. For the Linux/VGA console this is 16 pixels high. For your question about the tools involved (after the instructing/hinting has been done), the tools are:

  1. otf2bdf
  2. bdf2psf

If you apt-get source ttf-ubuntu-font-family in Ubuntu 11.10 beta, then the code already exists in the debian/console/* source directory (just type make). >This was disabled for the moment because the two small utilities listed above are in Universe, rather than Ubuntu's main component and will need Main Inclusion Reports first.

The bug to follow and add your comments to is:

  • Bug #861334 ("Ship Ubuntu Mono .psf as default console font in Ubuntu 11.10")

Because of the extreme deadlines involved, it is not likely to happen by default until the next release cycle of Ubuntu (after which Vincent will have had a chance to incrementally tweak the hinting work too!).

  • 1
    Is the PPA still needed? I can install sudo apt-get install fonts-ubuntu-font-family-console without adding a PPA in Ubuntu 15.04. and it successfully changes on my console, when I type sudo setfont /usr/share/consolefonts/UbuntuMono-R-8x16.psf
    – rubo77
    Sep 1, 2015 at 5:33
  • 1
    But on my 3200x1800px console the font is really tiny, so as a larger font, I would choose setfont /usr/share/consolefonts/Uni3-TerminusBold32x16.psf.gz see my answer on resize-font-on-boot-message-screen-and-console
    – rubo77
    Sep 1, 2015 at 6:18
  • 1
    @rubo77: setfont doesn’t require privileges higher that the user currently logged on a tty (virtual console). Sep 10, 2015 at 23:05

As converting seems to produce "irregular" fonts, I propose to use this ready font as a workaround:

git clone https://github.com/powerline/fonts.git powerlinefonts
cd powerlinefonts

# only this .psf are available
find -name "*psf*"
cd Terminus/PSF

# renaming
sudo apt install rename
rename -v 's/ter/Uni2/' *.gz
rename -v 's/powerline-v/Tarminus/' *.gz

# copy fonts to relevant folder
sudo cp *.gz /usr/share/consolefonts

# set font for tty
sudo nano /etc/default/console-setup
# paste this:

# Go to tty: Ctrl + Alt + F3
sudo setupcon -f

This is roughly equivalent to selecting a Terminus font with:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure -plow console-setup 
# then in tty:
sudo setupcon -f
  • fonts-ubuntu-font-family-console is unavailable now
    – Ferroao
    Sep 14, 2023 at 21:20

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