I’m using Ubuntu 18.04.4 with GNOME 3.28.2, and four gnome apps are suddenly displaying rectangles instead of letters:

  1. gnome-calculator
  2. gnome-characters
  3. gnome-logs
  4. gnome-system-monitor

For example, gnome-calculator:

gnome-calculator with broken font

and gnome-system-monitor:

gnome-system-monitor with broken font

For what it’s worth, these are all behaving normally: gnome-character-map, gnome-control-center, gnome-disk-image-mounter, gnome-disks, gnome-font-viewer (ironically), gnome-help, gnome-language-selector, gnome-mahjongg, gnome-mines, gnome-power-statistics, gnome-screenshot, gnome-session-properties, gnome-shell-extension-prefs, gnome-software, gnome-software-editor, gnome-sudoku, gnome-terminal, gnome-text-editor, gnome-todo, gnome-tweaks, and gnome-www-browser.

Here’s my output of uname -a:

Linux laptop 4.15.0-96-lowlatency #97-Ubuntu SMP PREEMPT Wed Apr 1 04:10:58 UTC 2020 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

I can’t think of anything I did recently that could’ve possibly caused this.

So, how can this be fixed?



I asked on the #gnome IRC channel, someone recommended this, and it worked:

rm -rf ~/.cache/fontconfig/
sudo fc-cache -r

I had downloaded a font a week ago, and probably saved it to the wrong directory, which may have corrupted the font cache. Hope this helps.

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