How to enable/disable color emoji in Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

Know how to insert, install, and uninstall color emoji in Ubuntu 18.04

Ubuntu 18.04 LTS ships with all-new color emoji for use in messaging apps, text editors, and also on the web. Emoji is nothing new for Ubuntu. Older versions of Ubuntu come with simple black-and-white emoticons.

Starting from Ubuntu 18.04, Noto Color Emoji font, which is the same emoji font is used in recent versions of the Google’s Android operating system. These are open source Unicode emoticons whose source images can be found in the Noto Emoji GitHub repository.

For some reason, if you prefer the older emoji and would like to uninstall the colored counterpart, you can follow these few simple steps. Note that the change is reversible, meaning in future if you want the color ones back, you can do that too!

Using color emoji

If you are hearing color emoji for the first time, you may probably want to check it out. While in a text editor, right-click and select “Insert Emoji”. You should see a context menu with several emoticons in it.

Inserting emoji in Text Editor
Inserting emoji in Text Editor

Inserting emoji in Text Editor-2
Inserting emoji in Text Editor-2

Uninstalling color emoji in Ubuntu 18.04

To uninstall color emoji, launch ‘Terminal’ and enter the following command:

Step 1) Click “Activities” and launch “Terminal”.

Step 2) In the Terminal window, enter the following command and hit enter.

sudo apt remove fonts-noto-color-emoji

Step 3) You must enter the root password when prompted. Pay attention to the uninstallation progress of the ‘Terminal’. You must also enter ‘Y’ when prompted.

That’s it! Next time when you try to insert an emoji, you should see the older black-and-white emoji menu.

Reinstalling color emoji

Anytime, you can reinstall the color emoji by following these steps:

Step 1) Click “Activities” and launch “Terminal”.

Step 2) In the Terminal window, enter the following command and hit enter.

sudo apt install fonts-noto-color-emoji

Step 3) As usual enter root password and ‘Y’ when prompted.

That’s it!

Kiran Kumar
Hi there! I'm Kiran Kumar, founder of I'm an avid Linux lover and enjoy hands-on with new promising distros. Currently, I'm using Ubuntu as a daily driver and run several other distros such as Fedora, Solus, Manjaro, Debian, and some new ones on my test PC and virtual machines. I have a day job as an Engineer, and this website is one of my favorite past time activities especially during Winter ;). When I'm not writing for FOSSLinux, I'm seen biking and hiking on scenic trails. Hope you enjoy using this website as much as I do writing for it. Feedback from readers is something that inspires me to do more, and spread Linux love!. If you find a time, drop me an email or feedback from the 'Contact' page. Or simply leave a comment below if you found this article useful. Have a good day!


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