All of a sudden my fonts are rendered like the image below. I cannot seem to find a solution; I have already tried reinstalling pantheon but this does not fix it.

Chinese characters seem to be rendered correctly.

Weird font behaviour

  • seeing the same issue, any solution? – maning Apr 7 '17 at 2:58
  • I ended up reinstalling elementary os as a whole, since I could not find a way to fix it. – Pieter De Clercq Apr 7 '17 at 10:19

Quite an old question, but I just had the same issue on Loki and I found a solution to it. It seems to have happened when the system had a heavy load on memory (though I'm not sure). I found out that the Pantheon default fonts changed. It was tricky to check since the graphical terminal also had these weird fonts so I had to open a text-based terminal (Ctrl+Alt+F1). There I found the default font:

mikki@mikki-dell:~$ gsettings get org.gnome.desktop.interface font-name
'Redacted Script Regular 9'
mikki@mikki-dell:~$ gsettings get org.gnome.desktop.interface monospace-font-name
'Redacted Script Light 10'

Turns out these are script fonts which are quite unreadable. I quickly changed to something else (it needs to be entered on the graphical terminal), like:

mikki@mikki-dell:~$ gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface monospace-font-name 'DejaVu Sans Mono'
mikki@mikki-dell:~$ gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface font-name 'DejaVu Sans'

The fonts changed back instantly to readable. The applications must be reopened to pick up the new font.

  • Thanks for finding a fix, I haven't had issues with fonts changing since I posted this question 2 years ago, but it seems I was not the only one. It's possible that your hypothesis about heavy memory load is true. – Pieter De Clercq Aug 16 '18 at 20:15

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