How to Restore the Old Fonts in Ubuntu 23.04, 23.10 Updated

Last updated: September 20, 2023 — 8 Comments

One of the visible changes in Ubuntu 23.04 Lunar Lobster is the new font for the texts in system menus, documents, and app windows.

The new font is slim. And, I’ve written a tutorial about how to try it out in Ubuntu 22.04 and 20.04. If you prefer the old fonts, it’s also easy to get it in Ubuntu 23.04 (also tested and works in Ubuntu 23.10)!

And, here’s a GIF image shows the changes between the old and new Ubuntu fonts. NOTE: In the GIF image below, “After” is the new fonts, while “Before” is the old one.

Install old Ubuntu Fonts in Ubuntu 23.04/23.10

To install the old fonts, just download the packages from Ubuntu 22.04 repository and install them.

UPDATE: Ubuntu 23.10 includes a fonts-ubuntu-classic package for old fonts. Just install it by sudo apt install fonts-ubuntu-classic will restore system fonts without restart!

1. To do so, press Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard to open terminal and run command to download the 2 packages:

wget https://launchpad.net/ubuntu/+archive/primary/+files/fonts-ubuntu_0.83-6ubuntu1_all.deb https://launchpad.net/ubuntu/+archive/primary/+files/fonts-ubuntu-console_0.83-6ubuntu1_all.deb

2. After downloading the packages, install them by running command:

sudo apt install ./fonts-ubuntu*.deb

If you saved the packages in Downloads folder, run sudo apt install ~/Downloads/fonts-ubuntu*.deb instead.

Once installed, restart your computer to apply changes.

For those hate Linux commands, go to this page in your browser, then select download the 2 .deb packages for Ubuntu 22.04 (Jammy Jellyfish) and then click install them one by one.

Lock & Prevent updating to new fonts

To prevent your system from automatically updating to the new fonts, you have to lock the old fonts packages that were just installed via the previous step.

Thanks to @Alex Farran, lock package version via Synaptic package manager only prevents itself and ‘Software Updater’ from upgrading the package. However, apt command and may be other tools can still upgrade the fonts. So, the best choice can be running the command below in terminal:

sudo apt-mark hold fonts-ubuntu fonts-ubuntu-console

For the graphical way (NOT work for apt), first open Ubuntu Software, search for and install Synatic Package Manager.

Then launch “Synaptic”, click “Search” and search “fonts-ubuntu“. Finally, do:

  • Press and hold Ctrl then highlight both “fonts-ubuntu” and “fonts-ubuntu-console” packages.
  • Go to menu “Package -> Lock Version”.

How to go back the new Ubuntu Fonts

First, open terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and run command to unlock the font packages:

sudo apt-mark unhold fonts-ubuntu fonts-ubuntu-console

Then, also search for and launch Synaptic package manager.

When it opens, search “fonts-ubuntu“. Then do:

  • highlight both “fonts-ubuntu” and “fonts-ubuntu-console” packages via Ctrl + mouse click.
  • Go to menu “Package” and un-check “Lock Version” (skip if NOT enabled).
  • Next, right-click on both packages and select “Mark for Upgrade“.
  • Finally, click on “Apply” button.

When process done, restart your computer and enjoy!

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I'm a freelance blogger who started using Ubuntu in 2007 and wishes to share my experiences and some useful tips with Ubuntu beginners and lovers. Please comment to let me know if the tutorial is outdated! And, notify me if you find any typo/grammar/language mistakes. English is not my native language. Contact me via [email protected] Buy me a coffee: https://ko-fi.com/ubuntuhandbook1

8 responses to How to Restore the Old Fonts in Ubuntu 23.04, 23.10 Updated

  1. Thanks for this. When I upgraded to 23.04 I initially thought something was wrong with my system’s font rendering due to the change. I much prefer the old one.

  2. Thanks for the guide. The new Ubuntu 23.04 fonts didn’t look well to me when comparing with 22.10 (it’s hard to read and recognize letters) so I downgraded.

  3. That is very helpful, thank you. The new fonts are almost unreadable.

  4. Version locking doesn’t seem to be working. A few days ago I installed the version 0.83 and locked both packages.Today I can see they were upgraded back to 0.86.

    • Locking the version will stop Synaptic from upgrading a package, but that setting is ignored by other tools, such as the software updater. Instead, put the font packages on hold with

      $ aptitude hold fonts-ubuntu
      $ aptitude hold fonts-ubuntu-console

    • Locking in synaptic only prevents synaptic from upgrading the packages. To stop other programs from updating them you need to put them on hold with aptitude hold package_name.

  5. Hi !

    And what if I’d like to change the fonts to, let’s say Ubuntu Condensed ?

    gnome-tweaks used to be able to do that but it’s no longer the case in 23.04 ( it only changes shell font – panel, app’s and activities views ) it’s not applied in Nautilus for instance.

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