I use Arch Linux, and have followed the wiki pages regarding Fonts, Font configuration, Microsoft fonts and Infinality.

However, it seems something is wrong with the Microsoft fonts. I copied them over from a mounted Windows 10 installation. I first copied the fonts from C:\Windows\Fonts to another place (in Windows), as cp was giving me unsupported reparse point errors on a lot of files.

I counted the number of files, there were more than 300. Using fc-cache -rv, only 217 fonts were detected.

The problem is most noticable to me as Arial resolves to Arial Narrow. That looks like crap:

Arial narrow

I checked all my font config files thrice, there are no rules that substitute Arial with Arial Narrow.

The Arial.TTF font is simply not installed: fc-list | grep -i 'arial' | cut -d':' -f 2,3:

/usr/share/fonts/WindowsFonts/ARIALN.TTF: Arial,Arial Narrow
/usr/share/fonts/WindowsFonts/ARIALNB.TTF: Arial,Arial Narrow
/usr/share/fonts/WindowsFonts/ARIALNI.TTF: Arial,Arial Narrow
/usr/share/fonts/WindowsFonts/ARIALNBI.TTF: Arial,Arial Narrow
/usr/share/fonts/WindowsFonts/ARLRDBD.TTF: Arial Rounded MT Bold
/usr/share/fonts/WindowsFonts/ARIALUNI.TTF: Arial Unicode MS

fc-match arial:

ARIALN.TTF: "Arial" "Narrow"

I managed to do it in the past with Windows 8. Could that be the reason (Windows 10 now)?


It gets even more crazy. I've copied fonts from Windows 8 now and rebuilt the cache. Arial appears to be installed and works in a few applications except Firefox. It renders Arial as completely blank!


The problem turned out to be related to permissions. You need to run fc-cache in non-root mode to use fonts in (some?) applications.

This in turn requires the font files to have proper permissions, or else fc-cache (silently) skips them:

sudo chmod 755 -R /usr/share/fonts/WindowsFonts

Notice the very crucial -R switch. You need to set the permissions on the files themselves! That was what I was missing.

Going to try again now using Windows 10 fonts. Works with Windows 10 fonts too!

  • Maybe some part of the problem related to the permission. But I still found some fonts cannot be recognized because some ttf in System/windows/Fonts/ in the Windows are links , and they link to some place, Linux cannot found. When you copy all the otf to linux , just copy the link.
    – einverne
    Oct 24 '15 at 15:57
  • 1
    @einverne initially I found that out as well, but the solution is to first copy them over to another place, using Windows itself. Open the directory in Explorer, ctrl+A and ctrl+C, and paste them somewhere else. Then copy them to linux.
    – MarioDS
    Oct 24 '15 at 16:03
  • yeah, I think this is the solution. I did it just now, and don't have the problem now.
    – einverne
    Oct 25 '15 at 2:19

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