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[notice] Removal of Arial in rviz caused breaking changes



I recently removed the copy of the Arial font we were distributing in rviz and replaced it with Liberation Sans [1]. This was done in Indigo, Jade, Kinetic, and Lunar.

At the time I thought other plugins would be reusing the code that was used to do moving text in rviz (avoiding a reference to Arial themselves), but that doesn’t appear to be the case and several users have run into issues [2][3][4].

There’s not a workaround at the moment, but the fix should be straightforward. I’ll try to expedite the release of these packages to public if I can.

If anyone has time to do testing higher level packages in the “shadow repository”[5] between syncs to public that would help us catch these mistakes before they get to users and it would be much appreciated.

Thanks and sorry again for the disruption,



Any update on this issue? Is there any workaround now to get rid of Liberation Font exception when starting rviz?


I don’t have any update on this. The change has to be made in moveit and it has to be released. In a different situation I would revert the change to rviz until the bug could be fixed, but since it has to do with licensing of the font itself, I don’t feel that’s an appropriate action to take right now.

The only information I have not in the original post is that the issue was not that the plugins were not reusing rviz code, but it was that, in the case of the moveit plugin, they were using Arial directly with various Qt widgets without providing the font itself or depending on it. This problem was hidden up by the fact that rviz was distributing the font and registering it into the system when running.

I’m not aware of a workaround at this time.


Well it is really unpleasant to be stuck with a font issue while trying to run RViz. I would really appreciate a quick and dirty solution temporarily. I am sure a permanent solution will be adapted very soon.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.


To be clear for others reading this, running rviz works fine, it’s only when using the moveit plugin for rviz that you run into the issue now.

If you’re willing to compile the moveit rviz plugin from source, I believe you could install fonts-liberation from apt and find-replace all instances of Arial with Liberation Sans in the moveit rviz plugin, as described here:


Ok, additional question/comment on this issue:

I am facing this (font) problem for a robot model which I created in MoveIt! and tried to visualise in RViz.

However, I am not facing the issue for a very similar robot model which I created again in MoveIt! and try to visualise in RViz.

What might be causing the difference? Why am I having the issue with one model but not the other?


@fatihirim please open an issue on the rviz or moveit repository, this is not the place to debug technical issues.

The robot model should not be the problem, it might be a new problem but I’m not aware of how a robot model might cause the issue and another would not. Again, please open an issue if you believe it is a different problem and include steps to reproduce and any other information you can think to provide.