Using a Mac font on Linux

So you want to use a Mac font on a Linux workstation. But the font appears to have a zero byte size. And when you copy that zero byte file to your Linux machine, Linux won’t use it. What to do?

This assumes you’re using Mac OS X 10.4 and Fedora Core 6. If you’re not, the exact steps may differ. Figure it out.

On the Mac, locate your System Folder / Fonts folder, find the font file you want, and create an archive. It’s easiest doing this through the Finder. If you want to use the command line, try this:

cd /”System Folder”
cd Fonts
zip fontfile

Move the .zip file to your Linux system. You can do this through Samba, NFS, FTP, or however you wish.

On the Linux system, unzip the file with


You’ll end up with the zero byte file you saw before, but also a directory called __MACOSX. CD to that directory.


Then list all files, including hidden ones:

ls -la

You’ll see a file prefixed with ._ like ._filename

Rename the file to remove the . and add a .ttf extension:

mv ._filename filename.ttf

What you do with the font next will depend on what application you plan to use it in. Some applications look for fonts in the .fonts folder under your home folder. If so, make sure you have the .fonts folder, and then move the file there:

mv filename.ttf ~/.fonts