Fonts in Edubuntu

Every now and again, educators ask me where they can get more fonts for Edubuntu. We include great desktop publishing software (scribus-ng, inkscape, gimp, etc) in Edubuntu, but our default font selection is rather dry and uninspiring. A few weeks back I looked whether there are some nice fonts in the Ubuntu archive that we could include. I figured that even if there’s one or two good ones available that we could ship, then it would at least be some improvement. The results were quite surprising, there are a wealth of fonts available in the archives.

I added many of them that seemed useful at face value to the edubuntu-fonts meta-package now available in PPA and soon in Natty. It installs quite a lot of font packages currently. The idea is to cut it down a bit and probably split it into 2 to 4 meta-packages, possibly in the categories I listed below. I’ll include some excerpts from package descriptions, and a few examples too. I can’t possibly list them all, it would make this post way too long.


Font packages currently included: ttf-essays1743, ttf-junicode, ttf-levien-typoscript, ttf-linex, ttf-marvosym, ttf-oflb-asana-math, ttf-oflb-euterpe, ttf-sil-andika, ttf-ancient-fonts, ttf-inconsolata, otf-stix


Upstream Homepage

Andika (“Write!” in Swahili) is a sans serif, Unicode-compliant font designed especially for literacy use, taking into account the needs of  beginning readers. The focus is on clear, easy-to-perceive letterforms that  will not be easily confused with one another. A sans serif font is preferred by some literacy personnel for teaching  people to read. Its forms are simpler and less cluttered than some serif fonts can be. For years, literacy workers have had to make do with fonts that were available but not really suitable for beginning readers and writers. In some cases, literacy specialists have had to tediously cobble together letters from a variety of fonts in order to get the all of characters they need for their particular language project, resulting in confusing and unattractive publications. Andika addresses those issues.


Upstream Homepage:

A collection of fonts including hand-writing simulation typographies, ancient Greek and Roman typographies, institutional fonts from the Extremadura regional government and other elegant fonts.


Upstream Homepage:

The mission of the Scientific and Technical Information Exchange (STIX)  font creation project is the preparation of a comprehensive set of fonts that serve the scientific and engineering community in the process from  manuscript creation through final publication, both in electronic and print formats.

Substitutes for popular Non-Free fonts

Font packages currently included: ttf-liberation, ttf-century-catalogue, ttf-mgopen, ttf-beteckna, ttf-droid, ttf-ecolier-court, ttf-ecolier-lignes-court, ttf-bpg-georgian-fonts, ttf-adf-verana, ttf-goudybookletter, ttf-levien-museum, ttf-linux-libertine, ttf-adf-universalis, ttf-adf-tribun, ttf-adf-switzera, ttf-adf-romande, ttf-adf-oldania, ttf-adf-libris, ttf-adf-irianis, ttf-adf-ikarius, ttf-adf-gillius, ttf-adf-berenis, ttf-adf-baskervald, ttf-adf-accanthis, otf-freefont, ttf-symbol-replacement


Upstream Homepage:

This is one of the most well-known sets of substitution fonts. It’s sponsored by Red Hat and includes a set of fonts that are metrically similar to the Times, Arial and Courier fonts. It’s great for document compatibility and can act as a drop-in replacement without requiring the installation of Microsoft fonts.


This is a replacement for the Symbol font as commonly found on Windows systems. It’s from the Wine project and should work as a drop-in replacement.

Desktop Publishing

ttf-engadget, ttf-okolaks, ttf-opendin, ttf-radisnoir, ttf-rufscript, ttf-sil-gentium, ttf-tomsontalk, ttf-atarismall, ttf-breip, ttf-staypuft, ttf-aenigma, ttf-fifthhorseman-dkg-handwriting, ttf-isabella, ttf-sjfonts, ttf-georgewilliams, ttf-femkeklaver, ttf-adf-mekanus, ttf-dustin

These are all font packages that might be useful for desktop publishing in a school or educational environment. The ttf-aenigma font package alone includes more than 450 thematic fonts that could be used for posters, brochures, etc!

Enhanced Usability or Accessibility

Font packages currently included: ttf-tiresias


Upstream Homepage:

This is a family of realist sans-serif typefaces that were designed for best legibility by people with impaired vision at the Scientific Research Unit of Royal National Institute of the Blind in London. This is a family of realist sans-serif typefaces that were designed for best legibility by people with impaired vision at the Scientific Research Unit of Royal National Institute of the Blind in London.

Oh, is that all?

Nope, that’s the beginning. Once we have a good selection of fonts in Edubuntu based on what’s in the archive, we should also extend and find more good fonts to include in the Ubuntu archives.Getting the fonts from the Google Font Directory packaged would be a good next step. If you know of any other sources that we should look into please comment here or on one of the usual Edubuntu communication channels.

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2 Responses

  1. There are tons of great fonts in Debian/Ubuntu. The problem is finding them. You might be interested in

  2. Check out the League of Movable Type. Would rock to get these fonts into Debian/Ubuntu:

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