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Fixing Tiny Fonts on Ubuntu 20.04 Interface After Restart with NVIDIA GPU

Ubuntu 13

In this article, we will address a common issue faced by Ubuntu 20.04 users with NVIDIA GPUs – the problem of tiny fonts on the interface after a system restart. This bug, which primarily affects NVIDIA cards, is acknowledged by the Ubuntu developers, but a definitive solution is yet to be released. However, there are several workarounds that you can implement to resolve this issue temporarily.

Quick Answer

To fix tiny fonts on Ubuntu 20.04 interface after a restart with an NVIDIA GPU, you can try adjusting the scaling factor in Gnome Tweaks, downgrading the libmutter package, switching to the X.Org X Server driver, or using a startup script. These workarounds provide temporary solutions until a definitive fix is released.

The Issue

The problem lies in the Mutter window manager, which is the default window manager for the Gnome Shell. After a system restart, users may find that the interface fonts have become significantly smaller, making it difficult to read or interact with the system.

Workaround 1: Adjusting the Scaling Factor in Gnome Tweaks

One of the simplest workarounds is to manually adjust the scaling factor in Gnome Tweaks. To do this:

  1. Open Gnome Tweaks.
  2. Navigate to the Fonts section.
  3. Adjust the scaling factor to a different value.
  4. Change it back to your desired value.

Please note that you may have to repeat this process after each login or Gnome Shell restart.

Workaround 2: Downgrading the libmutter Package

Another workaround involves downgrading the libmutter package temporarily. This can be achieved by running the following commands in the terminal:

sudo apt install libmutter-6-0=3.36.1-3ubuntu3 gir1.2-mutter-6=3.36.1-3ubuntu3
sudo apt-mark hold libmutter-6-0

The first command downgrades the libmutter package to version 3.36.1-3ubuntu3. The second command prevents the package from being upgraded when you update your system. Remember to unhold the package when a fix is released, which can be done using the command sudo apt-mark unhold libmutter-6-0.

Workaround 3: Switching to the X.Org X Server Driver

If you have an NVIDIA graphics card, you can try switching from the NVIDIA binary driver to the X.Org X Server driver. This can be done in the “Additional Drivers” section of the “Software & Updates” application. However, be aware that this may have other impacts on your system, so consider the trade-offs before making the switch.

Workaround 4: Using a Startup Script

A more automated solution is to create a script that changes the scaling factor and set it to run at startup. This can be done by creating a .desktop file in the autostart folder. The script should include commands to set the scaling factor to a different value and then back to your desired value. This workaround ensures that the scaling factor is applied automatically after each restart.


While these workarounds are temporary solutions until the bug is fixed, they can help you manage the issue of tiny fonts on Ubuntu 20.04 interface after a restart with NVIDIA GPU. You may need to experiment with different options to find the one that works best for your specific setup. We hope this article has been helpful in addressing this issue.

How can I check if I have an NVIDIA GPU on my Ubuntu 20.04 system?

You can check if you have an NVIDIA GPU by opening a terminal and running the command lspci | grep -i nvidia. If you see any output, it means you have an NVIDIA GPU.

How do I open Gnome Tweaks on Ubuntu 20.04?

To open Gnome Tweaks, you can either search for "Tweaks" in the Activities overview or open a terminal and run the command gnome-tweaks.

How do I downgrade the libmutter package?

To downgrade the libmutter package, you can open a terminal and run the commands sudo apt install libmutter-6-0=3.36.1-3ubuntu3 gir1.2-mutter-6=3.36.1-3ubuntu3 and sudo apt-mark hold libmutter-6-0.

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