Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Kannada Fonts on Ubuntu Firefox

Many of you may wish to use Kannada in Ubuntu, may it be the web pages in firefox or typing in kannada to write some articles or your blog post. I have recently installed Ubuntu 8.04 and faces issues with Kannada fonts, the kannada fonts are not rendered properly on firefox. I resolved the issue after lots of googling, am posting here what I have done to enable kannada fonts which might help a few of you.

The fonts can be made rendered correctly on Firefox by using the following methods

  1. Uninstall the free fonts that come with Ubuntu, which is main cause for most of the font problems. May be you need to change the name of the directory if its installed on a different directory.

    cd /usr/share/fonts/truetype
    sudo rm -rf free-fonts

  2. First install the kannada fonts which may or may not have installed on your Ubuntu by default. Even if its installed it does not harm reinstalling it. To do that type the following command in shell

    sudo apt-get install ttf-kannada-fonts

  3. Mallige fonts will be installed in ttf-kannada-fonts directory, which does not render properly, remaining fonts will be enough for working with kannada on Ubuntu. So removed Mallige fonts.

    cd /usr/share/fonts/truetype/ttf-kannada-fonts
    rm -f Malige-*.*

Now everything is setup fine, Just update the font cache by running the below command and restart firefox everything should work fine.

sudo fc-cache -fv

Feel free to ask me if you still facing any problems with Kannada fonts. Some web pages might be talking about MOZ_DISABLE_PANGO, which does not help anything, infact all that tweeks mentioned in those sites are already present in Ubuntu 8.04. I have explained how to enable direct typing in Kannada on Ubuntu in this post : (link not yet added).


  1. awesome... it works like a..

  2. kannada to work in Qt applications modify the 75scim file as below:

    you must have the following package:

    may you require im-switch
    find a line in 75scim file:
    export QT_IM_MODULE=scim
    you can do this by
    gksudo gedit /etc/X11/Xsession.d/75scim
    change it to
    export QT_IM_MODULE=scim-bridge

    this configure you have to done in

    reason to do the above:
    1:line to initialize the scim during startup
    2:line to input kannada in every place where your cursor is positioned
    and to work in Qt and kde applications

    finally "75scim" file look like this

    export XMODIFIERS="@im=SCIM"
    export XIM_PROGRAM="/usr/bin/scim -d"
    export GTK_IM_MODULE=scim
    export QT_IM_MODULE=scim-bridge

    also /etc/X11/xinit/xinput.d/scim file look like this
    only check this excluding everything


    if you want to detailed explaintion then you can
    find in synaptic package manager.

  3. @Vinay, Rahul and Rakshit,
    Thanks for all the support

  4. ಧನ್ಯವಾದಗಳು :)

  5. sir, i am not able to delete the 'freefonts' folder... what's wrong? please help me...

  6. @gladson,
    If you follow the above command I have given,
    cd /usr/share/fonts/truetype
    sudo rm -rf free-fonts

    You should be able to delete it.
    sudo is for super user do, so you need root permissions to complete this operation.

    if you are not logged in as root, then try login in as root as give the command.

  7. @prasad
    Kannada fonts were not rendered properly on Facebook in Firefox. I followed your steps and it worked!! :) But kannada fonts on your web page are not properly displaying :) :(

  8. Thank you very much, very usefull