Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today we are kicking off the Ubuntu Font BETA testing. This is a happy day!

Today all Ubuntu Members will have access to a private PPA so that they can use, test and enjoy the font.

The first four variants of the font family are scheduled for completion 8 August 2010 and this is when we aim to do a phased beta to anyone who is interested, and then to release the font to everyone.

For some background and to remind yourself about the project here are Bruno Maag’s UDS sessions on video:

How do I get it?

I want to tell you but I also want you to read the rest of the announcement so I am going to put that information at the end. I am sorry, I have kept it as short as possible, I promise!

What do I get?

For now, only the regular is available for testing, bold comes next. We will announce as more becomes available so you can make sure you have latest.

The Ubuntu font (family) is open-type ttf based font format and fully unicode compliant. It contains Latin A and B extended character sets, Greek Polytonic and Cyrillic extended. The font has been hinted for superior screen display. Its spacing and kerning is optimised for body copy sizes.

How do I give feedback?

We’ve created a font testing tool at fonttest.design.canonical.com. It has some example text and the ability for you to paste in your own text, so if you find a problem you can highlight the exact use of the font and submit your feedback right from the form. It’s connected to Launchpad so you can log in with your existing credentials.

At this stage we would like to encourage you to test the font on screen and print, on different platforms and in different applications.

Please ensure that all feedback contains details of:

  • medium (paper or screen)
  • platform (operating system including version number)
  • application (including version number)
  • a description of the problem
  • and a screenshot where appropriate
  • when printing please include make of printer and driver including version.

The tool at fonttest.design.canonical.com should help a bit so please feel free to go and give it a go. (Bugs can be reported against the tool at: https://launchpad.net/lp-bug-form.)

What will happen with the feedback?

Feedback will be accumulated for analysis and responded to fortnightly. We anticipate high volume feedback so the primary method for response will be the updated font and a list of changes and known issues.

When does everyone get it?

The font is currently in development and is scheduled to be shipped in Ubuntu 10.10. It will be free for everyone to use and share. For now, the exact details of the license are not confirmed.

Do I need to know anything else?

Please note that the stylistic direction has been set.

This is how you get it

Sometime today if you’re an Ubuntu member you’ll get an email inviting you to the private PPA with instructions:

  • This email will include a link to the private PPA page on Launchpad with the proper sources.list: http://launchpad.net/people/+me/+archivesubscriptions
  • Please note that add-apt-repository will NOT WORK; you need to add the sources.list information that is available in the link above
  • It takes Launchpad a moment or two to generate your little private PPA, so please be patient as it generates a Packages.gz file.
  • The following command adds the PPA’s GPG key to your keyring: sudo apt-key adv ––keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com ––recv-keys 42F834EC
  • Please just don’t just install the .deb, make sure the Private PPA is working for you so you can get font updates.

Using the font.

Updated instructions – December 2010

  • Ubuntu 10.10 and above ship with the ttf-ubuntu-font-family package already installed (for Ubuntu 10.04 LTS you will need to install ttf-ubuntu-font-family and select it manually.
  • For using on web sites visit “Ubuntu – Use this font” at the Google Font Directory
  • For source code and everything else, visit and link to font.ubuntu.com.

And finally

This font is the result of a lot of great work by a lot of talented people. Together we can make it outstanding. We hope very much that you will enjoy using it and look forward to your participation in this final sprint to the finish.