FontForge on GNU+Linux and other Unices

Most GNU+Linux distributions have packages for FontForge, but these are often quite outdated. If you want the latest FontForge, these are your options:


AppImage is a binary format that has improved to the point where it is generally usable by all GNU+Linux users.

With each release, we compile an AppImage. The latest is 2023-01-01.

We recommend all users use this method to get the latest release if their distribution has not yet provided it. The Ubuntu PPA, and similar distribution-specific build platforms that put the onus on us, are deprecated and not to be used.


From GitHub

Check out Building From Source, as well as, for more information on using bleeding edge versions of FontForge, which change every time a developer merges a pull request.

From distribution-specific build recipe

Some distributions provide a collection of build recipes which can simplify building on them. On Arch Linux this is called a PKGBUILD and one way they are distributed is via the Arch User Repository (AUR): it may be simpler to install fontforge-git via the AUR if you are an Arch user.

The Alpine Linux version of this is an APKBUILD. Gentoo Linux calls it a “portage overlay”, see e.g. here.

Other Unices

  • FreeBSD has a FontForge port in its ports tree.
  • netbsd builds for various architectures (alpha, i386, ppc, sparc, x86_64) are available.

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