Let selection of default fonts be based on Noto

@gunnarhj +1 from the desktop team for the proposal. Do you need any specific support from us to action the changes?

Also, on outreach how do you recommend we go about that?


Thanks for your confidence in me.

I have pushed these two seed commits:



I also merged and uploaded this language-selector merge proposal:


And this is a pull request for snapcraft-desktop-integration:


Somebody needs to update the ubuntu-meta package with those seed changes. Otherwise I think it’s under control. I’m currently discussing a detail with @kenvandine.

Good question. What I have in mind so far is a separate “call for testing” topic here. And a hint in the 23.10 release notes.

Aside from that, I’m open for ideas. Which channel is best to reach as many users as possible who represent a wide range of languages and scripts?


Thanks for doing so.

I agree. As I mentioned, the purpose was not really to address that issue, and there is a built-in goal conflict.

Good that you are cautious. But as regards font packages, it’s safe to uninstall such a package provided that it does not suggest that a bunch of other packages are uninstalled as well.

And when the change in this topic has been fully implemented, you have the option to drop most of the pre-installed fonts by simply doing:

sudo apt purge fonts-noto-core

So maybe not a great improvement, but still an improvement, right? :wink:


@gunnarhj you work fast! I’m not sure if @kenvandine’s got around to the changes but I did ping @seb128 just in case.

Unfortunately we don’t have a channel to reach a wide range of our users. I’ll do my best to highlight the changes in pulse updates and highlight it as we get closer to release.


For Arabic-based languages I can confirm that the font rendering is much better with the current Ubuntu 23.10 daily after Noto Fonts are preinstalled.

Here you see a comparison from the Wikipedia language selector. I marked the faulty rendering on 22.04, which is now fixed in the 23.10 daily. Also Arabic fonts look now more professional and streamlined, and no longer have these comic-ish look from Dejavu.


FTR: If you already see a difference in web sites, I suppose you use some conventionally installed web browser, and not the FF or Chromium snap. (The change is not implemented for the snaps yet.)

Tried Malayalam (ml)

VirtualBox_Ubuntu Mantic_26_07_2023_18_59_44

The auto name suggestion is broken. It should be the same as the text inside the text-editor. Otherwise, the default Malayalam (ml) fonts appear to work fine on Firefox and text-editor.

Firefox - the default web browser in 23.10

VirtualBox_Ubuntu Mantic_26_07_2023_19_03_47

Works in Libre Office Writer

VirtualBox_Ubuntu Mantic_26_07_2023_19_30_18

@meetdilip: Malayalam is not supported by DejaVu, so the mere presence of fonts-noto-core is sufficient irrespective of the font configuration. That’s why you already see a difference in the FF snap.

$ fc-list :lang=ml | grep -iE 'noto|dejavu'
/usr/share/fonts/truetype/noto/NotoSerifMalayalam-Regular.ttf: Noto Serif Malayalam:style=Regular
/usr/share/fonts/truetype/noto/NotoSansMalayalam-Bold.ttf: Noto Sans Malayalam:style=Bold
/usr/share/fonts/truetype/noto/NotoSansMalayalam-Regular.ttf: Noto Sans Malayalam:style=Regular
/usr/share/fonts/truetype/noto/NotoSerifMalayalam-Bold.ttf: Noto Serif Malayalam:style=Bold
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Thanks @gunnarhj

I do not understand the font backend in Ubuntu much. But Malayalam (ml) used to work on Ubuntu since a long time. 10 years at the least. I became an Ubuntu regular in 2010 and somewhere near that time, I could use Malayalam without adding extra fonts. I could be wrong and this happened maybe 5 years further. In 22.04 which I am using, Malayalam is working fine without me using Noto fonts.

Nothing in or against. Only adding some info :slight_smile:

Right, fonts for Malayalam have been included by default for quite some time. What will happen in 23.10 is that previously pre-installed fonts are replaced with Noto. I thought that you commented on that change. Maybe not.

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I was indeed trying to give whatever feedback I can for Malayalam text support in 23.10. Downloaded the daily build today and used it in VirtualBox. Looks like it works :slight_smile:

It’s too early to tell, actually, at least for the FF snap. While Noto is now used for rendering Malayalam in the desktop and some apps, the old fonts are still used if you browse the web using the FF snap. That will change later in the cycle.

Please be patient. :wink:

The changes discussed above have now been implemented in Ubuntu 23.10 under development. But as an offshoot some related font related ideas popped into my head, and I submitted Reconsider the preinstalled LCG (Latin etc.) fonts. If you followed this topic, you may want to follow that new topic as well and maybe provide your input.


Thanks for this. They’re good suggestions, @gunnarhj.