Fixing the ttf-mscorefonts package in Ubuntu

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Ubuntu 9.10 since it’s release has caused quite a storm in the linux community both good and bad. While Ubuntu 9.10 is the latest and greatest release of the Linux distro there have been a few slight issues with Ubuntu 9.10. One of the problems I’ve had with the Ubuntu 9.10 is with a package called mscorefonts. This package contains Windows fonts such as Arial and Impact that are used in such programs such as Wine, the Windows compatibility layer that allows you to install and run windows applications in Ubuntu.

If you were getting an error something like this when Ubuntu attempted to download the fonts:

Resolving switch.dl.sourceforge.net... 130.59.138.21
Connecting to switch.dl.sourceforge.net|130.59.138.21|:80... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 302 Found
Location: http://downloads.sourceforge.net/sourceforge/corefonts/arialb32.exe?download&failedmirror=switch.dl.sourceforge.net [following]
--2009-10-03 18:10:40-- http://downloads.sourceforge.net/sourceforge/corefonts/arialb32.exe?download&failedmirror=switch.dl.sourceforge.net
Resolving downloads.sourceforge.net... 216.34.181.59
Connecting to downloads.sourceforge.net|216.34.181.59|:80... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 302 Found
Location: http://surfnet.dl.sourceforge.net/project/corefonts/the%20fonts/final/arialb32.exe [following]
--2009-10-03 18:10:55-- http://surfnet.dl.sourceforge.net/project/corefonts/the%20fonts/final/arialb32.exe
Resolving surfnet.dl.sourceforge.net... 130.59.138.21
Connecting to surfnet.dl.sourceforge.net|130.59.138.21|:80... failed: Connection timed out.

Then hopefully this post will help you. Basically what happens is when Ubuntu attempts to download the fonts the DNS times out which then results in a different download mirror to be tried in order to obtain the font but none of them will work so the mscorefonts package is stuck in a connection time out loop until all mirrors have been tried. I was able to fix the problem with a simple change to one file.

Start by opening a terminal window and putting in this command:

sudo gedit /etc/hosts

This should bring up your host file which should look similar to this:

127.0.0.1	localhost
127.0.1.1	james-compaq

# The following lines are desirable for IPv6 capable hosts
::1     localhost ip6-localhost ip6-loopback
fe00::0 ip6-localnet
ff00::0 ip6-mcastprefix
ff02::1 ip6-allnodes
ff02::2 ip6-allrouters
ff02::3 ip6-allhosts

We are going to add a couple of URL’s to the hosts file. Before the IPv6 capable hosts add the following hosts to the hosts file:

216.34.181.59 downloads.sourceforge.net
212.219.56.167 kent.dl.sourceforge.net

Your host file should now look like this:

127.0.0.1	localhost
127.0.1.1	james-compaq

216.34.181.59 downloads.sourceforge.net
212.219.56.167 kent.dl.sourceforge.net

# The following lines are desirable for IPv6 capable hosts
::1     localhost ip6-localhost ip6-loopback
fe00::0 ip6-localnet
ff00::0 ip6-mcastprefix
ff02::1 ip6-allnodes
ff02::2 ip6-allrouters
ff02::3 ip6-allhosts

Adding these hosts to your hosts file should allow Ubuntu to download the fonts properly. Save the /etc/hosts file and close the text editor. Now you will have to reinstall the mscorefonts package. This can be done by going to System > Administration > Synaptic Package Manager once Synaptic has opened put “ttf-mscorefonts-installer” in the search to bring up the package. Then simply right click on the package and mark for reinstallation once it’s been marked click apply at the top to begin the re-installation of the package. You can see how installation of the fonts is going by expanding the details which will show you the status on the connections to the target server which the fonts are downloaded from.

You may experience connection timeouts still but you should find that the fonts are being downloaded rather than just constant timeouts. What this change has done is basically just added hosts which the fonts can be downloaded from properly. If the two hosts suggested above didn’t work. You can try some of these:

213.203.218.122 mesh.dl.sourceforge.net
208.122.28.29 voxel.dl.sourceforge.net
212.219.56.167 sunet.dl.sourceforge.net
213.203.218.122 sunet.dl.sourceforge.net
208.122.28.29 sunet.dl.sourceforge.net

Adding these hosts should allow you to download the fonts successfully. As far as the Ubuntu community is concerned this problem seems to be with the DNS timing out too quickly but I haven’t heard of an official fix for this problem, but the above fix should work. There are a few other methods of getting the fonts to install if adding any of the hosts don’t work but they are quite hackish type fixes and it’s safer to just add the above hosts to the /etc/hosts/ but if you are still having problems feel free to comment and I’ll reply as soon as I can.

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  • jefdebruges

    Thanks, man

  • tom101

    Thank you !

  • sumu

    Thanks a lot! A big life saver fix!

  • Thanks for this useful information, but it doesn’t solve my problem yet.
    In order to solve the problem, I manually added more host in /etc/hosts.

    This is my hosts file:
    —— Begin of file ——

    127.0.0.1 localhost
    127.0.1.1 dhilip89-pc

    216.34.181.59 downloads.sourceforge.net
    212.219.56.167 kent.dl.sourceforge.net
    213.203.218.122 mesh.dl.sourceforge.net
    208.122.28.29 voxel.dl.sourceforge.net
    212.219.56.167 sunet.dl.sourceforge.net
    213.203.218.122 sunet.dl.sourceforge.net
    208.122.28.29 sunet.dl.sourceforge.net
    211.79.60.17 nchc.dl.sourceforge.net
    130.59.138.21 switch.dl.sourceforge.net
    194.95.236.6 dfn.dl.sourceforge.net
    193.1.193.66 heanet.dl.sourceforge.net
    150.65.7.130 jaist.dl.sourceforge.net
    200.17.202.1 ufpr.dl.sourceforge.net
    150.101.135.12 internode.dl.sourceforge.net
    64.7.222.131 internap.dl.sourceforge.net

    # The following lines are desirable for IPv6 capable hosts
    ::1 localhost ip6-localhost ip6-loopback
    fe00::0 ip6-localnet
    ff00::0 ip6-mcastprefix
    ff02::1 ip6-allnodes
    ff02::2 ip6-allrouters
    ff02::3 ip6-allhosts

    —— End of file ——

  • thx

  • Adil

    Thanks a lot, I appreciate the post, it solved this nagging problem.

  • Glad it helped!

  • Paul Bulger

    I have spent much time and tried many of the solutions listed here and other places. There may be many causes for this problem.
    However what I have noticed is courie32.exe seems to be just not there.
    wget http://sourceforge.net/projects/corefonts/files/the%20fonts/final/comic32.exe/download works

    but wget http://sourceforge.net/projects/corefonts/files/the%20fonts/final/courie32.exe/download just hangs up.

    This works http://sourceforge.net/projects/corefonts/files/the%20fonts/final/courie32.exe/download Wine will install this and all the other fonts but still Add/Remove and Synaptic hangs up not finding courie32.exe

  • Hubert Huber

    thank you sooo much !!!
    I had no problem at all, probably you managed for me to prevent any:
    Just looking around for for Verdana, needed because of differently displaying
    0-O zero to Otto
    1-l -I one to legal to I (UC i) – see the character LC L is almost identical to UC i .
    So when looking for Verdana, I read about all the problems, hence I got the
    chance to install the fonts without failing with my first try.
    ciao Hubi

  • Considerably, the article is in reality the greatest on this precious topic. I harmonise with your conclusions and also will eagerly look forward to your next updates. Simply saying thanks can not simply just be sufficient, for the phenomenal lucidity in your writing. I can directly grab your rss feed to stay informed of any updates. De lightful work and much success in your business dealings!

  • lolo

    Dhilip89 way solve my problem

    thank you

  • CB

    You deserve the love, man, but still not working for me. I blame Bill Gates, though, because now what I am getting is “301 Moved Permanent” … They h8 us because we just want out of Billsville …

  • Hi,
    I am still encountering the same problem…………Don’t know what to do….. I tried to add several hosts as dhilip89 did………… I tried to do what paul berger did………….the wget and stuff in the nautilus……..but still no use…….

    this is my /etc/hosts doc…….

    127.0.0.1 localhost
    127.0.1.1 pratik-laptop

    216.34.181.59 downloads.sourceforge.net
    212.219.56.167 kent.dl.sourceforge.net
    213.203.218.122 mesh.dl.sourceforge.net
    208.122.28.29 voxel.dl.sourceforge.net
    212.219.56.167 sunet.dl.sourceforge.net
    213.203.218.122 sunet.dl.sourceforge.net
    208.122.28.29 sunet.dl.sourceforge.net
    211.79.60.17 nchc.dl.sourceforge.net
    130.59.138.21 switch.dl.sourceforge.net
    194.95.236.6 dfn.dl.sourceforge.net
    193.1.193.66 heanet.dl.sourceforge.net
    150.65.7.130 jaist.dl.sourceforge.net
    200.17.202.1 ufpr.dl.sourceforge.net
    150.101.135.12 internode.dl.sourceforge.net
    64.7.222.131 internap.dl.sourceforge.net

    # The following lines are desirable for IPv6 capable hosts
    ::1 localhost ip6-localhost ip6-loopback
    fe00::0 ip6-localnet
    ff00::0 ip6-mcastprefix
    ff02::1 ip6-allnodes
    ff02::2 ip6-allrouters
    ff02::3 ip6-allhosts

  • Brascubas

    Thanks man, it works for me.

    Hugs.

    Brascubas

  • Brascubas

    Thanks man, it works for me.

    Hugs.

    Brascubas