Posted by & filed under Linux.

By running these commands, you will download the necessary fonts required to render Emoji on your Linux machine.

mkdir ~/.fonts && cd ~/.fonts
unzip && rm

Interestingly enough, I didn’t even have to restart my apps. Pidgin, for example, immediately displayed the new font. It seems the OS is smart enough to find the fonts, see that they display the missing symbols, and re-render the text.

Please note, these will not be the full-color bitmapped images like on OS X, but will instead be colored vectors like the rest of the font glyphs.

Emoji on Linux

Emoji on Linux

Thomas Hunter II

Thomas is a published author and a prolific public speaker with a passion for reducing complex problems into simple language and diagrams. His career includes working at Fortune 50's in the Midwest, co-founding a successful startup, and everything in between.
  • Biajkesu

    Thank you. I solved it this way in Linux Mint:

    Download , open it (with the GNOME font viewer), and install it.

    Idea taken from


  • Tommy

    Thank you kindly, this worked a treat.

  • Justin Chaschowy

    Wow Thomas, your blog has been a real help today.

    Two of your linux solutions I found today stumbling onto your blog from Google!

    Great work.

  • Ben

    Thanks for the help, Thomas! It looks like the Symbola fonts link has changed though. I think you now need to download and unzip this file:

  • Thank you, still working great :’)

  • Blah De Blah

    Note the “Symbola” font is presently already present in debian package ttf-ancient-fonts (ostensibly for “ancient scripts”) for some reason. Anyway, there’s therefore no need to install it outside the package system, just install ttf-ancient-fonts on debian/ubuntu to get it. It is weird and unhelpful it isn’t mentioned that “hey guys this package provides emoji symbols” though, there’s a debian bug #758444 about it!

  • Uwe

    On Debian there are also packages for these: fonts-symbola and fonts-droid.

  • Not sure if intentional but you can use `mkdir ~/.fonts && cd $_` ;-)

  • Ben in Seattle

    The above instructions seem to only give the black and white font. To get proper Emojis (with colors, skin tones, etc), I had to use the EmojiOne-Color-Font from . Here’s one way to install it (you do not need to be root if you already have ttf-bitstream-vera installed):

    tar zxf $f.tar.gz
    cd $f

    Check if it worked:

    You should now see a glorious page bursting with colorful, hi-res emojis. 🛀🍆🐤

    Note: As of May 2016, I think only Firefox and Thunderbird support the “SVG in OpenType” format which is necessary for color fonts. Emojis still work in other applications (e.g., xterm and chrome), but they are black-and-white only. I assume other programs will catch up soon.

    BUG: If you installed just by copying the EmojiOneColor-SVGinOT.ttf file into ~/.fonts, it will work but some of the emojis (mostly faces) will show up in black and white. This is because the standard DejaVu font already includes a few emojis. You’ll need to make DejaVu lower priority by copying the 56-emojione-color.conf file into your ~/.config/fontsconfig/conf.d directory. You might also need to run fc-cache -f.

    DEBIAN: There’s a package for Ubuntu that works great. Since I’m running Debian 8 Jesse (and I don’t trust PPAs), I downloaded the deb file for a specific version and installed it manually:

    sudo apt-get install ttf-bitstream-vera
    sudo dpkg -i $f
    rm $f

  • I’ve made two color emoji fonts for Linux. Deb via PPA, AUR, and Gentoo are packages available. Color only in Firefox for now, but it’s a full character set either way. Details:
    * (Unicode 9.0)
    * (Unicode 9.0 coming soon)

    Install in Ubuntu:
    sudo apt-add-repository ppa:eosrei/fonts
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install fonts-emojione-svginot
    # OR (choose one)
    sudo apt-get install fonts-twemoji-svginot