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ubuntu font

Update: you can now install the Ubuntu Font Family from a public PPA.

After finally getting the bold version last week, the Ubuntu font which will be default in Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat is finally available for (almost) everyone. Why almost? Here is an email from the Kubuntu-users mailing list:

Members of the ~kubuntu-users team on launchpad can now test out the Ubuntu Font which is currently in beta testing. Anyone can join this team.

We are considering setting this as the default screen font in 10.10, opinions welcome but please include a rationale with your opinion, artwork is very easy to criticize but is hard to criticize well.

The Ubuntu font was expected to be available for everyone starting with August 8, but since anyone can join the ~kubuntu-users, you can already start testing it. It will probably be available in a public PPA starting with August, 8.

Update: the old instructions no longer work. Here is a new and official way to get access to the private PPA. Go to https://launchpad.net/~ubuntu-typeface-interest and click "Join this team" (you'll of course need a Launchpad account). You should receive an email when you have been accepted to this team. When this happens, do not install the deb! Add the PPA so you can stay up to date with the latest versions of the font!

Important: only join this group if you are willing to provide genuine feedback! Also: most people will be accepted into this group. If you have just created a Launchpad account and/or have 0 karma however, it might take a while until you're accepted.

Upon being accepted, go to https://launchpad.net/~ubuntu-font-beta-testing for the instructions. Read them carefully, then go to the PPA and read the instructions again. Don't just add the PPA - > you'll have to manually add the private PPA to your sources.list! Also, don't manually download the Uubntu font .deb files as you won't get any updates!

Note: clicking the last 2 links in the post without having gained access (by joining the Kubuntu users team or some other team which has access to the font), you'll get a "page not found" error.

Update: the mail on the Kubuntu mailing list also mentions that the Ubuntu font looks great with Auto Hinting, which you can enable using the following command:
sudo ln -sf /etc/fonts/conf.avail/10-autohint.conf /etc/fonts/conf.d/

Then log out and log back in.

Here is how the new Ubuntu font looks on the desktop, with auto hinting and antialiasing for "best contrast" and "subpixel smoothing":

ubuntu font best contrast
(Best contrast)

ubuntu font subpixel smoothing
(Subpixel smoothing)

The Ubuntu font was only available for the Ubuntu members (if you don't know what that is, you're not one) until now.

Also read:

Update: you can now install the Ubuntu Font Family from a public PPA.