How to make Ubuntu display emojis

Last modified:


If you ever happen to see small squares instead of emojis in Linux, follow this guide to fix it.


Emojis “are pictographs (pictorial symbols) that are typically presented in a colorful form and used inline in text”1

To correctly display them you need the right font.

In Ubuntu we have fonts-emojione and fonts-noto-color-emoji packages which can be installed to have emojis available.

<pre class="shell">
<span class="shell-prompt">$</span> <kbd>apt show fonts-emojione fonts-noto-color-emoji</kbd>
Package: fonts-emojione
Version: 2.2.6+16.10.20160804-0ubuntu2
Priority: optional
Section: universe/fonts
Origin: Ubuntu
Maintainer: Ubuntu Developers <>
Original-Maintainer: Michael Sheldon <>
Installed-Size: 3.560 kB
Download-Size: 2.621 kB
APT-Sources: cosmic/universe amd64 Packages
Description: The Emoji One Truetype Bitmap Font
 Emoji One is a bitmap font providing graphical color emoji glyphs.

Package: fonts-noto-color-emoji
Version: 0~20180810-1
Priority: optional
Section: fonts
Origin: Ubuntu
Maintainer: Ubuntu Developers <>
Original-Maintainer: Debian Fonts Task Force <>
Installed-Size: 8.264 kB
Task: ubuntu-desktop, kubuntu-desktop, kubuntu-full, ubuntustudio-desktop, ubuntu-mate-core, ubuntu-mate-desktop, ubuntu-budgie-desktop
Supported: 9m
Download-Size: 7.572 kB
APT-Manual-Installed: yes
APT-Sources: cosmic/main amd64 Packages
Description: color emoji font from Google
 Noto is a collection of font families, each visually harmonized across
 The name "Noto" is short for "No Tofu", describing the aim of covering
 all living Unicode scripts.
 Tofu (豆腐) is Japanese jargon for unicode replacement character "�"
 (U+FFFD) often displayed as replacement for unassigned or unknown
 This package contains the color emoji font used on "stock" Android devices
 such as the Google Pixel.

Installing any of them we will have emojis available in our system.

<pre class="shell">
<span class="shell-prompt">$</span> <kbd>sudo apt install fonts-noto-color-emoji </kbd>
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
The following NEW packages will be installed:
0 upgraded, 1 newly installed, 0 to remove and 2 not upgraded.
Need to get 7.572 kB of archives.
After this operation, 8.264 kB of additional disk space will be used.
Get:1 cosmic/main amd64 fonts-noto-color-emoji all 0~20180810-1 [7.572 kB]
Fetched 7.572 kB in 6s (1.364 kB/s)                 
Selecting previously unselected package fonts-noto-color-emoji.
(Reading database ... 162658 files and directories currently installed.)
Preparing to unpack .../fonts-noto-color-emoji_0~20180810-1_all.deb ...
Unpacking fonts-noto-color-emoji (0~20180810-1) ...
Setting up fonts-noto-color-emoji (0~20180810-1) ...
Processing triggers for fontconfig (2.13.0-5ubuntu3) ...


  1. ↩︎

Marcelo Canina
I'm Marcelo Canina, a developer from Uruguay. I build websites and web-based applications from the ground up and share what I learn here.
comments powered by Disqus

Except as otherwise noted, the content of this page is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 . Terms and Policy.

Powered by SimpleIT Hugo Theme