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How To fix “unable to load font” error in PuTTY on Ubuntu 20.04

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In this article, we’ll walk you through the process of fixing the “unable to load font” error in PuTTY on Ubuntu 20.04. This error can occur due to a variety of reasons, including incorrect font settings or compatibility issues with the display server.

Quick Answer

To fix the "unable to load font" error in PuTTY on Ubuntu 20.04, you can try changing the font in PuTTY, editing the default settings file, running PuTTY from the terminal with the env GDK_BACKEND=x11 putty command, or adding export GDK_BACKEND=x11 to your .bashrc file.

Understanding the Error

The “unable to load font” error typically occurs when PuTTY is unable to find or load the specified font. In most cases, this error is associated with the “server:fixed” font.

Solution 1: Changing the Font in PuTTY

The first solution to this error involves changing the font used by PuTTY. Here’s how you can do this:

  1. Open PuTTY and navigate to the Fonts section, which can be found in the left middle side of the window.
  2. Under the Font used for ordinary text section, change the font to your desired choice. For instance, you can set it to “UBUNTU MONO”.
  3. Click Apply or OK to save the changes.

Solution 2: Editing the Default Settings File

If the first solution doesn’t work, you can try editing the default settings file of PuTTY. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open PuTTY and navigate to Category in the left menu.
  2. Navigate to Window and then Fonts.
  3. Under Fonts Used for ordinary text, change the default font from “server:fixed” to your desired font family.
  4. To make this change permanent, you need to edit the file located at ~/.putty/sessions/Default%20Settings.
  5. Change the value of “FontName” to your desired font.
  6. Save the file and exit.

Solution 3: Running PuTTY from Terminal

If the above solutions don’t work, you can try running PuTTY from the terminal using the following command:

env GDK_BACKEND=x11 putty

In this command, env is used to set the environment variable GDK_BACKEND to x11. This solution is specifically for users running PuTTY on Wayland, as it may be causing the font loading issue.

Solution 4: Editing the .bashrc File

Another solution to this problem is to add the following line to your .bashrc file:

export GDK_BACKEND=x11

This solution is specifically for users running PuTTY on WSL2 (Windows Subsystem for Linux 2). By setting the GDK_BACKEND environment variable to x11, it can help resolve the font loading issue in PuTTY.

Conclusion

The “unable to load font” error in PuTTY on Ubuntu 20.04 can be fixed by changing the font settings, editing the default settings file, running PuTTY from the terminal, or editing the .bashrc file. We hope that one of these solutions will help you resolve this error. If you’re still facing issues, please refer to the official PuTTY documentation or seek help from the Ubuntu community.

What is PuTTY?

PuTTY is a free and open-source terminal emulator, serial console, and network file transfer application. It allows users to connect to remote servers or devices using various protocols such as SSH, Telnet, and Rlogin.

How do I install PuTTY on Ubuntu 20.04?

To install PuTTY on Ubuntu 20.04, you can use the following command in the terminal:

sudo apt-get install putty

This command will install PuTTY and its dependencies from the official Ubuntu repositories.

Can I use PuTTY to connect to a Windows machine?

Yes, PuTTY can be used to connect to a Windows machine. However, PuTTY is primarily designed for connecting to remote servers or devices running Unix-like operating systems. For connecting to a Windows machine, you may consider using other tools such as Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) or Windows PowerShell.

Can I use PuTTY to transfer files between my local machine and a remote server?

PuTTY itself does not have built-in file transfer capabilities. However, PuTTY comes with a companion tool called PSCP (PuTTY Secure Copy), which allows you to securely transfer files between your local machine and a remote server using the SSH protocol. You can use PSCP from the command line or with a graphical file transfer client like WinSCP.

Can I use PuTTY on macOS or Windows?

Yes, PuTTY is available for both macOS and Windows operating systems. You can download the appropriate version of PuTTY for your operating system from the official PuTTY website. For macOS, you can also consider using alternative terminal emulators like iTerm2 or Terminal.app, which come pre-installed with macOS.

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