Ubuntu Font Family
ClassificationHumanist sans-serif
Commissioned byCanonical
FoundryDalton Maag
LicenseUbuntu Font License
VariationsUbuntu Monospace & Ubuntu Condensed

Ubuntu is an OpenType-based font family, designed to be a modern, humanist-style typeface[1] by London-based type foundry Dalton Maag, with funding by Canonical Ltd. The font was under development for nearly nine months, with only a limited initial release through a beta program, until September 2010. It was then that it became the new default font of the Ubuntu operating system in Ubuntu 10.10.[2][3] Its designers include Vincent Connare, creator of the Comic Sans and Trebuchet MS fonts.[4]

The Ubuntu font family is licensed under the Ubuntu Font License.[5]

History and features

The font was first introduced in October 2010 with the release of Ubuntu 10.10 in four versions: Regular, Italic, Bold, and Bold Italic in English. With the release of Ubuntu 11.04 in April 2011, additional fonts and expanded language coverage were introduced.[6][7] The final development is intended to include a total of thirteen fonts, consisting of:

The monospace version, used in terminals, was initially planned to ship with Ubuntu 11.04. However, it was delayed and instead shipped with Ubuntu 11.10 as the default system monospace font.[8]

The font is fully Unicode compliant and contains Latin A and B extended character sets, Greek polytonic, and Cyrillic extended. In addition, it has become the first native operating system font to include the Indian rupee sign.[9] The font has been designed primarily for use on screen displays, and its spacing and kerning is optimized for body copy sizes.[6][10]


The Ubuntu Font Family is the default font for the current and development releases of the Ubuntu operating system and is used for the Ubuntu project branding.[5]

Ubuntu has been included in the Google Fonts directory, making it easily available for web typography,[11] and as of April 26, 2011, it is included for use in Google Docs.[12]

Ubuntu Monospace was prominently used in the 2014 video game Transistor.[13][14]

Ubuntu bold-italic is also used in the bitcoin logotype, alongside the bitcoin symbol.[15][16]

Ubuntu sans is the font used in the "GIF Maker" by the popular GIF sharing app Tenor, the font has become very popular in internet meme culture, being used commonly to caption GIFs and images.[17]

TV Tropes has used Ubuntu in its logo since 2016.

Ubuntu Font Licence

Ubuntu Font License
PublisherCanonical Ltd.
Debian FSG compatibleNo[18]
FSF approvedNo
OSI approvedNo

The Ubuntu Font License is an "interim"[19] license designed for the Ubuntu Font Family, which has used the license since version 0.68.[5] The license is based on the SIL Open Font License.[20]

The Ubuntu Font License allows the fonts to be "used, studied, modified and redistributed freely" given that the license terms are met. The license is copyleft and all derivative works must be distributed under the same license. Documents that use the fonts are not required to be licensed under the Ubuntu Font License.[21]

Fedora and Debian have reviewed this license and converged on interpreting it as non-free due to incomplete or ambiguous use and modification permissions.[18][22]

See also


  1. ^ "Mark Shuttleworth » Blog Archive » Light: the new look of Ubuntu". Retrieved 6 July 2022.
  2. ^ Humphrey, Benjamin (28 September 2010). "New Ubuntu font lands in Maverick for all users". OMG! Ubuntu!. Retrieved 6 July 2022.
  3. ^ Andrew. "The Ubuntu Font Family Is Now Available In Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat (Officially)". WebUpd8. Retrieved 6 July 2022.
  4. ^ Peters, Yves. "Ampersand Conference 2011 Focuses on Web Typography". Font Feed. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  5. ^ a b c "ttf-ubuntu-font-family package in Ubuntu 10.10 "maverick" archiv... : Ubuntu Font Family". Launchpad. Retrieved 6 July 2022.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Ubuntu Font Family
  7. ^ a b c d e f Sneddon, Joey (August 2011). "Condensed Variant of Ubuntu Font Debuts". OMG Ubuntu. Retrieved 20 August 2011.
  8. ^ "Thanks a billion! Ubuntu on Google Webfonts". Ubuntu. Retrieved 6 July 2022.
  9. ^ "MaverickMeerkat/ReleaseNotes - Ubuntu Wiki". wiki.ubuntu.com. Retrieved 6 July 2022.
  10. ^ "Ubuntu Font Family in Launchpad". Launchpad. Retrieved 6 July 2022.
  11. ^ Ubuntu Font Family – Google Web Fonts
  12. ^ "Bug #771443 Wishlist: Please add Ubuntu to Google Docs". bugs.launchpad.net. 26 April 2011. Retrieved 12 March 2012.
  13. ^ "I'm working on a Transistor theme for Android, tell me what you think!". 24 May 2014. Yea, there's 3 fonts used in the game. The terminals use Raleway and Ubuntu Mono, and the big OVC at the top uses Julius Sans One.
  14. ^ "For anyone curious, the UI typeface is called Raleway". 28 May 2014. the OVC text is written in Ubuntu Mono: … Use of Ubuntu Mono is a really cool detail, considering that in real life Open Voting Consortium terminals are running on Linux.
  15. ^ "How to create a "Bitcoin accepted here" button?". 17 September 2014. The font is Ubuntu Bold Italic for the text.
  16. ^ "What font does Bitcoin use?". Retrieved 12 December 2014. The logo Bitcoin uses the Ubuntu Bold Italic font.
  17. ^ "GIF Maker". Tenor. Retrieved 11 February 2024.
  18. ^ a b "Bug #769874 Naming restrictions in UFL considered non-free by Debian". bugs.launchpad.net. 24 April 2011. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  19. ^ Shuttleworth, Mark. "Something New and Beautiful: Ubuntu, distilled, in type". Mark Shuttleworth blog. Retrieved 14 February 2015. So we came to the compromise of an interim license, which you can find at code.launchpad.net/+branch/ubuntu-font-licence bzr. While licence proliferation sucks, I'm optimistic we'll converge in due course.
  20. ^ "Ubuntu font licence". Ubuntu. Retrieved 6 July 2022.
  21. ^ "Ubuntu font licence". Ubuntu. Retrieved 6 July 2022.
  22. ^ "Bug 961642 - Review Request: ubuntu-font-family - The fonts used in Ubuntu Linux". bugzilla.redhat.com/. 13 May 2013. Retrieved 20 July 2016.