Arch Linux is a popular Linux distribution. It has multiple customization options to fit your needs and tastes. When it comes to customization, text is an important parameter. Choosing the right fonts for your desktop can give it a minimalistic and eye-catching look. Especially if you are bored with the terminal and system application default font style. Fonts can make a big difference in how your system looks and feels, as well as how easy it is to read and work with text.
This article will cover different ways of adding new fonts in Arch Linux.
How to Install Fonts on Arch Linux?
To install new fonts on Arch Linux, you can use the default pacman package manager tool. You can also manually download and install any font on your Arch Linux system. If you are a GUI person and using any desktop environment with Arch Linux, then you can also use the font manager to manage and install fonts on your system. Let’s go through these methods one by one, starting with the easiest one.
Install Fonts on Arch Linux Using Pacman
You can use Pacman to manage your software on Arch Linux. This package manager can install, update, and remove software using the official repositories. To install fonts using pacman, you need to know the name of the package that contains the fonts you want.
Before you can start with the installation, first update your system package database:
sudo pacman -Syu
After updating the system packages, you can now proceed with the desired font installation. Let’s consider if you want to install the DejaVu fonts. The DejaVu fonts are a set of high-quality fonts. This font is used in various languages and scripts.
To install DejaVu using pacman, run:
sudo pacman -S ttf-dejavu
In the above command, ttf is the file extension of our fonts, and dejavu is the font name.
Now verify the font installation, open the console, and run:
This will show you all the fonts you have on your system.
Check out the font you installed to confirm its presence. To find a font package quickly, type its name in the search bar.
You can also check the font installation using any editor like LibreOffice.
If you want to install any other font but don’t know its package name, then you can list the font packages using the pacman command:
pacman -Ss font
This will list all the packages that contain the word font in their name or description.
Remove Font Installed Using Pacman
To uninstall the font that you have installed using the pacman package manager, run the pacman command with the -Rs flag followed by the font package name:
sudo pacman -R ttf-dejavu
The above command will only remove the package but not its dependencies and its associated files. To completely remove the fonts use the -Rs option. This will uninstall the package and its dependencies that no other packages use. For example:
sudo pacman -Rs ttf-dejavu
Manual Installation of Fonts on Arch Linux
You can also manually install any font you like by just downloading its file and placing it in the appropriate directory. This method is more flexible than the previous one, as most of the time the pacman package manager doesn’t have all the fonts available to download.
Here we are going to download the ttf file of velocity font.
After downloading the font file, extract it.
You will see the ttf file of the downloaded font in a new folder. Remember the exact font name as it will be required during installation.
You can also open the font directory and list its file to get the exact font file name.
Next, set the location to install the fonts. There are two options: for a single user or all users.
If you want to install fonts for a single user, you need to create a folder called fonts under ~/.local/share/ if it does not exist. Then, copy the font files to ~/.local/share/fonts/. On the other hand, if you want to install fonts for all users, you need to have root privileges. Then, copy the font files to /usr/local/share/fonts/.
We are going to install the fonts for a single user. So first open the directory of fonts for a single user:
List down all the directory contents using the ls command:
Now, create a fonts directory using sudo privileges:
sudo mkdir fonts
After that again list the current directory items, to check if the fonts directory is created or not:
You can also confirm it using the file manager.
Now move the font file which you downloaded earlier, to the newly created directory. Here we will use the mv command with sudo privileges followed by font file name and path to the directory. Make sure you write the file name correctly. Also, watch out for any single quotes.
sudo mv velocity-font.ttf /usr/local/share/fonts/
Now navigate to the fonts directory and list down its item, to check if the font file is moved or not.
After copying the font files, update the font cache. This is a database that stores information about the fonts on your system. To update the font cache, you need to run the command fc-cache -vf in a terminal. This will scan the font directories and generate the cache files.
sudo fc-cache -vf
This command will scan the directories and register the new fonts on your system.
To check if the font is successfully installed in your system or not, you can list all fonts using the following command:
Once all the fonts are listed, use the search bar to check for the font that we copied earlier.
If you are using a desktop environment with Arch Linux, you can also check the installed font using the fonts manager.
Finally, you need to test the fonts. You can use any editor to check the installed font. For example, you can check the installed font in the LibreOffice editor.
Remove Font Installed Using Manual Method
Remove the font that is manually installed. You can start with the following steps:
First, open the directory and list its items, where you have installed the fonts.
Now use the rm command followed by font name to remove the font from your system.
sudo rm font_name
For example, to remove the velocity font, run:
sudo rm velocity-font.ttf
You can list the fonts again to confirm their removal:
Sometimes fonts are installed on the /home/linux/.local/share/fonts directory, to delete them first you have to navigate there and list all items:
Now remove any font by just using the rm command:
sudo rm C059-Roman.otf
After running the above command, you can again list all items to confirm their deletion.
GUI-Based Fonts Installation Using Font Manager
If you prefer a graphical and convenient way to install fonts, you can use a font installer tool. The default desktop environment usually comes with these font installers. For example, for GNOME, you will get a separate Fonts application. These tools allow you to browse, preview, install, and manage fonts on your system with a few clicks.
After opening the font manager, you will get a list of all fonts, including those that are installed and that are available for installation. You can also search for a new font here quickly.
Click on any font and then click the Install button.
You might need to install a font manager if you don’t have a desktop environment with Arch Linux or your system lacks one. You can find a font manager in the official repositories or the AUR.
For example, to install Font Manager, you can use the following command:
sudo pacman -S font-manager
Now, launch the font installer tool from your application menu or the terminal. Here you can manage all your installed fonts on your system. You can add, delete, or remove the fonts.
Click on the + button to open a file browser and select the font files you want to install. Otherwise, drag the font files to the font installer window.
After adding fonts, restart any applications that were open before installing fonts to ensure they recognize the new fonts.
Remove the Font Manager From Your System
To remove the font-manager on Arch Linux, run:
sudo pacman -Rns font-manager
This will uninstall the font-manager package and its dependencies, as well as remove any configuration files and cache files associated with it.
The Best Fonts for Arch Linux
But how do you choose the best fonts for Arch Linux? You need to think about many things, such as readability, style, compatibility, and performance. To help you out, we have compiled a list of some of the best fonts for Arch Linux that you can try out. These fonts are all free, open-source, and widely available, so you can easily install and use them on your system.
- Arimo: Arimo is a sans-serif font that was designed to be a metric-compatible alternative to Arial.
- Cabin: Cabin is another sans-serif font that was inspired by the typefaces of Edward Johnston and Eric Gill.
- Fira Sans: Fira Sans is a sans-serif font that was created by Mozilla for its Firefox OS.
- PT Sans: PT Sans is a sans-serif font that was developed by ParaType for the Russian Public Types project.
These are some of the best fonts for Arch Linux that you can use to enhance your system’s appearance and functionality. Of course, you can always experiment with other fonts and find the ones that suit your preferences and needs.
This article showed you how to install fonts on Arch Linux and why these fonts matter for your text-based content. Fonts affect how your text looks, reads, and sounds to your readers. Using fonts you can create interactive text to communicate and express your identity.
You can install fonts on Arch Linux in different ways, such as using pacman, doing it manually, or using the Font Installer app. Among all three methods, the pacman method is to add fonts with just one command to run. However, this method lacks some additional and unique fonts. For that, you can manually install any font using its ttf file or can use the font manager tool.