Remove Foreign Fonts


I just installed Libreoffice 6.3 in Linux Mint 18, 64bit, KDE. I would like to remove all non-English fonts, such as Alef and Amiri. The system font manager does not see these fonts, and therefore I cannot remove them this way.

I now know that LO has it’s own private collection under /opt/libreoffice6.3/share/fonts/truetype/

I tried renaming the fonts by changing the extension: Alef-Bold.ttf → Alef-Bold.ttf.bak. However this did not work and LO still shows the Alef font.

It would be very nice if there was an option at the UI to manage these fonts, and allow the user to either add or remove specific fonts at will.

Your help will be appreciated.

I now know that LO has it’s own private collection under /opt/libreoffice6.3/share/fonts/truetype/

That means you installed LibreOffice from the “vanilla builds” instead of using the packages from your distribution. That’s a bad idea, and one of the reasons is what you found: repeated or difficult to manage fonts, libraries and dictionaries.

Always use the packages from your Linux distribution! AFAIK, Mint can use ubuntu’s repositories, so if you really want to get the latest versions you just need to add an appropriate ppa: check for example this link for more information.

Hi RGB-es,

Thank you for the PPA advice, that is a better alternative- with some caveats. Unfortunately, LO ships with a truck-load of, shall we say, “unsolicited fonts”. So using the PPA will flood your system with useless fonts you did not ask for.

I will disagree with you on this one point: One should not have to use only the repositories from the distribution. For one thing, the Ubuntu/Mint repos are notoriously behind the latest software versions. A perfectly reasonable expectation is that, if I install the latest build directly from the publisher, the application and the system should run in perfect harmony.

With that said, I think LO should not bundle excessive or unnecessary fonts. They should include only a basic font collection based only on the specific language being downloaded. And if they have to include extraneous fonts, then there should be a way to manage them natively.

I have no experience with ubuntu based distros so I didn’t know they do not customize the packaging. In openSUSE Leap the LibO’s packages (in fact, all packages) on all repos are really well integrated with the base packages so no unwanted fonts are installed. And yes, the number of fonts vanilla LibO includes is insane.

I use Windows 10 but under install there is the option to do a Custom install with only the Dictionaries,languages and extensions you want. I have never checked to see if that extends to Fonts you may want to try and see if that helps.

@jedimaster - LO Linux does not offer an installer with options. It all goes in.

Interesting I did not know why such an option would be in the Windows version but not in the Linux version.

@jedimaster - Windows and Linux have totally different operating system architectures. While Windows is a proprietary and closed system (meaning one company owns, controls, and distributes the code), Linux is an open source system, which is basically developed by a global community of programmers and distributed freely. In order for the LO developers to include a user-friendly visual installer that would work with the different Linux distributions, a group of programmers would have to come forward and volunteer their time to build it. However, that does not explain why the Libre Office foundation could not approach some talented coders and work on a Java based Linux installer.

OK, but how do we manage all those fonts? I would really like to get rid of over half of them, especially the noto fonts

Amiri and Alef were chosen by the Design Team to be added to our set of bundled fonts because they also provide a high-quality Latin set of characters. It is not in our roadmap to remove them.

While I understand the developers desire to be inclusive, it seems a bit short sighted to not provide a mechanism for Linux users to manage the fonts they want to use.

At the very least, the liboasisX.X-ooofonts should not be a required dependency for the installation of LibreOffice. As any attempt to un-install the ooofonts package will completely remove LibreOffice.

The offline help packages are optional, Why not make the fonts optional as well? Then the users can decide which fonts they need or want to use.

# # # # # # # #

In the meantime, for those folks who use an Ubuntu / Ubuntu based distribution such as Linux Mint AND who use a more current version of LibreOffice than what the distribution provides, it is possible to remove the unwanted fonts. You just have to do a little work from the command line.

The LibreOffice provided fonts are installed in the /opt/libreofficeX.X/share/fonts/truetype/ folder.

The Gnome Font Manager will not see them so cannot be used manage them.

  1. To remove the unwanted fonts you need to move or delete the ones you don’t want.
  2. Then run the following command: sudo dpkg-reconfigure fontconfig
  3. Reboot. Yes I know Linux is not windows, but according to other folks it’s necessary.

The next time you open LibreOffice Writer the removed fonts will be gone.

Don’t put the blame on LO developers. This is a decision by Ubuntu maintainers. Package liboasis… does not exist in other distros like Fedora (nor any *oof…). You notice yourself that the dependency is not in LO-provided release.
Complain at some Ubuntu help desk or switch to another distro.

While anything is possible, I would be highly surprised to learn the Ubuntu maintainers are the people responsible for packaging the .deb file that is being downloaded from the LibreOffice download page.

Especially, when viewing the package properties in the Synaptic package manager, which shows the Maintainer as The Document Foundation, along with all of the other libobasis and LibreOffice packages included in the file I downloaded from the LibreOffice site.

I am using a fresh install of Linux Mint 21 on my laptop which comes with LibreOffice 7.3.7. That version has a cursor positioning bug which causes Writer to place the cursor at a random position in a document rather than return to the last edited position. While that may seem like a minor annoyance to some, for people who edit large documents, think 200 - 300 pages or more, it is a very big issue.

In any case, per the installation instructions on the Document Foundation’s Wiki page, which recommend uninstalling the version provided by the distribution, including removing any libobasis packages. When I searched Synaptic for all the LibreOffice packages there were no libobasis packages installed or available to be installed.

After I installed LibreOffice, the last version without the cursor positioning bug, there were 30 libobasis packages installed.

Please know it is not my intent to start a flame war. My only purpose for my original post was to ensure I would be able find the solution for removing unneeded fonts when I did a Google search two years in the future, after doing another fresh install of Linux Mint. :slight_smile:

They are. LO developers can possibly manage the packages for the myriads Of Linux distros and their various formats (.deb, .rpm and many others). “Slicing” LO into packages is the responsibility of distro maintainers so that they can adapt any application to the specific filesystem architecture they chose. They are then free to add or group features/components/goodies to provide maximum “comfort” to their users.

I doubt TDF is in charge of the Ubuntu package. They provide “sanitized” .deb and .rpm packages on the official site but these packages are not optimised for any specific distro and therefore the file locations may conflict with native distro locations. This is why it is recommend to uninstall distro version if you opt for TDF release.

I downloaded the package to have a look at it. Well, it looks like packages occur in pair (libobasis… and libreoffice…), the latter seemingly containing control information for the former. There is effectively a libobasis7.4-ooofonts….

Other distro maintainer reorganise the package architecture. I guess they compile from source and “slice” the application to their liking. In particular, they remove fonts to avoid conflicts or duplications with independently loaded fonts.

I have no idea about the dependencies but I agree with you that it is not user-friendly to impose a choice of fonts on the end user, all the more when they are not needed.

A single font is mandatory, OpenSymbols, because it is needed by the Math component.

However, I keep on asserting this is Ubuntu maintainers’ fault. They surely have changed a bit the storage locations for the various files and they could have removed the fonts because they have a specific way to load them from the repo.

@ajlittoz - I suppose that @cstuettgen uses the DEB packages from TDF.

Yes, that is correct.

My “analysis” is about the LO package. I have no idea about the Ubuntu package(s) and I assumed that @cstuettgen complained about the dependency in the Ubuntu packages.

Usually distro packages are named Libreoffice-<something>. But, again I have no experience with Ubuntu.