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On this blog we will track down the latest Amazon Kindle news. We will keep you up to date with whats hot in the bestsellers section, including books, ebooks and blogs... and we will also bring you great Kindle3 tips and tricks along with reviews for the latest KindleDX accessories.

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November 2014
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UFHack is a hack for Amazon Kindle 2 (including the international version) and Amazon Kindle DX (including the international version) that allows replacing default Kindle fonts with different ones, including fonts that support broader range of characters like Cyrillic, Chinese, Japanese, etc. Hack comes in a form of manually installable patch and is fully reversible. Source code is included so you can customize the hack. If you do, please let me know and I’ll host or link to the modified version as I’m sure that one size doesn’t fit all.

This hack doesn’t work on Kindle 1 – check the link at the end of the page for alternate solutions.

Important!:

  • Use this hack and instructions at your own risk after reading ALL OF THEM carefully! Although I tested it to the best of my ability on my own devices I can’t guarantee that it will work on yours and will not be responsible for any damage (including completely and irreversibly bricking your device) it may have caused!
  • This hack works on Kindle 2 (incuding the international version) and DX. For Kindle 1 you’ll need a different one. If you are not sure which version you have it’s best not to mess with it all.
  • Having this hack installed will cause installation of official Amazon.com updates to fail. This is normal. You’ll need to reverse the hack (see instuctions below), install the Amazon.com update manually and then reapply the hack.

In theory this hack should work with any version of Kindle software. However, I’ve only tested it with 2.5.2 and 2.5.3. I strongly advice you to update your Kindle to the latest software version before installing this hack. This is something you should be doing anyway.

Before installing this hack you will need to “jailbreak” your Kindle – see instructions below!

There are several versions of this hack. Functionally they are identical but they are prepacked with different sets of fonts:

kindle-ufhack-v03-gnu-free-font-serif

kindle-ufhack-v03-gnu-free-font-sans

  • Droid Fallback Fonts (recommened for Asian glyphs) - this hack uses open-source Droid fallback font that is part of Google Android platform. Unfortunately styles and typefaces are missing completely. You’ll only get regular Sans Serif. The upside is the broadest character support. It supports Cyrillic, Chinese, Japanese and a bunch of other languages. This font also looks very good on the Kindle screen (in my opinion way better than native Kindle fonts). This is the patch I currently have installed on my Kindle 2. Here are download links:

kindle-ufhack-v01-droid

kindle-ufhack-v03-droid-serif

kindle-ufhack-v03-droid-sans
Installing the hack:

  1. Download appropriate jailbreak package for your Kindle:
  2. Connect your Kindle via USB cable and copy the jailbreak package into the root directory of Kindle drive
  3. Use menus to initiate manual update installation: Press “Home” to fo to the home screen, press “Menu” and select “Settings”, press “Menu” again and select “Update Your Kindle”, press the 5-way controller once more to confirm the update. If “Update Your Kindle” is disabled make sure that update version corresponds to your version of Kindle.
  4. The installer will run and report a failure. This is expected and normal. After your Kindle reboots it will be jailbroken and you would be able to install custom hacks (including UFH)
  5. If you have another version of Unicode Font Hack installed – uninstall it first (instructions can be found below). If you do not the fonts may not change.
  6. Download appropriate update file from one of the links above.
  7. Connect your Kindle 2/DX to your PC via USB cable.
  8. Copy *install*.bin  file that corresponds the the desired font family and your device version into the root of your Kindle USB drive.
  9. Use menus to initiate manual update installation: Press “Home” to fo to the home screen, press “Menu” and select “Settings”, press “Menu” again and select “Update Your Kindle”, press the 5-way controller once more to confirm the update. If “Update Your Kindle” is disabled make sure that update version corresponds to your version of Kindle. For Kindle DX you should use _dx.bin files.
  10. Your Kindle Kindle 2/DX will switch through several update screens and then reboot.
  11. Once it reboots, you can test that the hack installed properly and works:
    1. First of all you should see apparent change in all of the fonts if you didn’t install browser-only update.
    2. press “Menu”, select “Settings”. In the bottom portion of the settings page you should see Kindle software version and “+ UFHack 0.3″.
    3. Start web browser and open http://www.wikipedia.org/ – you should see Russian text in the bottom left rather than boxes with question marks. If you used droid patch – Japanese characters in the upper-left will also display.
    4. And of course you can now copy books in different languages and start reading them.
  12. Connect your Kindle Kindle 2/DX to your PC via USB cable and copy *.orig files from the root directory to a safe location. Normally you’ll not need these to reverse the hack but it’s good to keep a copy of these just in case.

kindle-ufhack-v03-version

Uninstalling the hack:

  1. Connect your Kindle 2/DX to your PC via USB cable.
  2. Download file that corresponds to your device and copy it to the root directory of your Kindle drive. It doesn’t matter if you have droid or liberation hack installed. The uninstaller would remove either one.
  3. If you have UFH 0.3 for Kindle 2.3 installed use these (old) uninstallers:
  4. If you have UFH 0.1 or 0.2 installed you should use the oldest uninstaller from one of the following links:
  5. Optionally but highly recommended: use “Safely Remove Hardware” to “eject” Kindle 2/DX. In order for this to work you need to close all Windows Explorer and other file manager windows that display contents of Kindle drive.
  6. Use menus to initiate manual update installation: Press “Home” to fo to the home screen, press “Menu” and select “Settings”, press “Menu” again and select “Update Your Kindle”, press the 5-way controller once more to confirm the update.
  7. Your Kindle 2/DX will switch through several update screens and then reboot.
  8. Once it reboots, you can test that the hack installed properly and works: there should be no “+ UFHack 0.1″ in the version string at the bottom of settings screen, fonts should be back to normal with boxed question marks displayed instead of unicode symbols.
  9. Unicode font files are not deleted from Kindle but should cause no problems. If you would like to delete them – contact me and I’ll provide a separate patch for that.
  10. You may also want to uninstall “jailbreak” package so that you can install official Kindle updates. Please use appropriate uninstaller from the following list:

Known issues:

  1. There is not perfect one-size fit all font that would preserve styles and display all characters and look nice at the same time. Finding one that is free proved to be more difficult than creating the patch. If you find such a font or even a paid one for which redistribution rights will not cost a small fortune – let me know and I’ll try to arrange a patch with that font.
  2. Unicode titles of .mobi and .prc books will display like garbage. This is not an issue with the hack or the fonts. Amazon eBook reader appliation assumes these fields to be ASCII rather than Unicode so they’ll not display correctly no matter what fonts until Amazon fixes this.

Using your own fonts:

  1. Once again I’ll stress that this is done at your own risk. Using corrupted font files in the reader app will likely brick your Kindle entirely. If you don’t know what are you doing – don’t do it!
  2. In order to roll your own Kindle updates you’ll need to have Python installed. One from ActiveState will do nicely.
  3. In the source code of the hack (you can download it here) you’ll find font files, update scripts and other related stuff. Feel free to look into any of it.
  4. To use your own fonts you need to replace the ones in /custom folder (preserving the file names!) and then run build-updates.cmd. This will generate installer .bin files for all versions of Amazon Kindle.
  5. If you use your own fonts it would be a good idea to test the browser-only update first. Keep in mind that browser-only update uses only Serif*.ttf fonts. So you will want to replace them with the ones that you are testing regardless of the actual typography. Replace all of the files even if you are using same font file.
  6. To uninstall use one of the standard uninstallers provided here.

Good luck and enjoy!

Please spread the word about this hack as it will increase chances of someone finding better fonts that can be used with it.

If you are interested in changing fonts on Kindle 1 – read this thread.

366 comments to Unicode Fonts Hack

  • Adele

    Hi, Admin, can this fonts-hack be used on the new Kindle Dx Graphite ?
    The serial number begins with B009, firmware 2.5.5
    Thanks.

  • Richard

    New Kindle DX Graphite: The first four symbols are B009.

  • Cyberdog

    The “update Kindle” is disable although I’d copy the file into the root directory. My Kindle is the latest one with 2.5.5 and serial number prefix B009. We may need hack updated.

  • Richard

    Here seems to be a solution for the new DXG:
    http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=88004
    For CJK-Characters you can find further in the thread downloads for “DroidSansFallback1&2″

  • Chaut0

    Help! I am using kindle 2.3 with global wireless. But I can only uninstall UFH 0.3 and I can’t uninstall the jailbreak…
    When I downloaded update_jailbreak_k2i_uninstall.bin it only displayed an error message. I am totaly confused….

  • admin

    With 2.3 hack there was no need to uninstall jailbreak.

  • Kelvin Chong

    I have just updated my Kindle DXi to version 2.5.2. However, when I apply the hack for the update_ufh_droid_install-kdxi.bin, it does not work anymore. I am unable to read in Chinese. Does the hack need an update? Please help.

  • Vassili Sukharev

    Hi,

    First off, thanks for your work. I’ve tried installing every single font package from this page. Cyrillic fonts get installed correctly, I can read russian books, so in that sense all is fine. However, I have an annoying problem.

    It appears that different books display in different fonts. I have a collection of Rex Stout books that display in a font that I like (seems to be font is set to bold). On the other hand, all other books display in an un-bolded font. I can’t figure out how to force font to bold always.

    Any suggestions? Does the book specify font style that it wants to be displayed in? If yes, how do I change it?

  • Ling

    The font package’s very nice. I installed the Asian font, and finally I am able to read Chinese! But one problem is after I installed this hack, all underline font is gone. Does anyone know how I can get the underline style back?

  • Nan

    Does this hack work with Kindle DX graphite version?

  • Skan123

    for those who just upgraded to 2.5 and want to install fonts, incl Chinese, u may want to check this out :

    http://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/Kindle_Font_Hack_for_all_2.5.x_Kindles

  • Kate

    Hello,
    first of all would like to thank you for the great job: I’ve been using your UFH with a 2.3v and it worked fantaslically… before I upgraded my Kindle (B003) to a 2.5.4 (and just before going on holiday).
    Stupid idea, bcs it doesn’t seem to work now: I tried uninstalling the previous UFH version and putting a new one, different fronts, etc…
    Would greatully appreciate a piece of advice (how to desinstall an update to a 2.5) or a new patch so I can enjoy my books in Russian while on holiday…
    Many thanks in advance

  • wangmeiwang

    I upgrade my kindle 2(Free 3G) firmware to 2.5.4 before jailbreak. When i install update_jailbreak_install_k2i.bin. The screen hang on Software Update page. Does there any update for 2.5.4?

  • wesley

    Hello, I update to 2.5.4(501100064)+UFH3, but now can not show chinese char, how is it? anyone can help me? thanks.

  • Shubbar

    I still cannot upgrade to Amazons’ 2.5; I have uninstall UFHack and uninstall Jailbrak (i wasn’t sure i had it) and even reset to factory defaults. My Kindle DX is B004.

  • YJ

    I’m Korean Kindle User.

    Kindle 3′s korean font is very terrible.
    It’s

    Please, Do not stop kindle font hack upgrading…

    Thanks.

  • chris

    I’m a chinese kindle 3 user.
    Same with the above korean user, the chinese (traditional, big5) fonts are fairly incomplete… about 3% of chinese characters in a file are “squares”. UTF-8 text files are completely unreadable.

    Please continue to support Chinese font hacking. Thanks.

  • Eric

    I am also a Chinese kindle 3 user. some chinese are ‘square’ and incompleted.

    Calibre cannot convert PDB files to MOBI file format. I had tried many times. I don’t know why. It is very frustrated not able to read chinese. why do we buy kindle 3?

  • Richard

    Grandmaster NiLuJe did it again and solved the Chinese display problem on the Kindle 3.
    Font Hack:
    http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=88004

  • DX GRAPHITE B009 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    It’s ok, I finally got it. for the CHINESE and japonese koreen caracters display, do like this:
    1, download http://www.mobileread.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=58483&d=1284939770
    2, unzip it and install this one: update_jailbreak_dxg_install.bin (dx graphite)
    3, download http://www.mobileread.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=58717&d=1285289906
    4, unzip it and install this one: update_fonts_3.9.N_dxg_install.bin
    5, return to the unziped folder \kindle-fonts-3.9.N-k2\src\linkfonts\fonts\, copy this file CJK and past 4 times, you get 4 copies, replace them at Kindle:\linkfonts\fonts\, delete Serif_Bold, Serif_BoldItalic, Serif_Italic and Serif_Regular existant in the folder, rename the 4 copies as these 4 deleted above.
    6, [HOME] -> [MENU] > Settings -> [MENU] > Restart

    ENJOY!!!!!

  • DX GRAPHITE B009 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    if you want to know why and how:

    http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1141320&highlight=cjk#post1141320

  • Anna

    Have you tried to use listed above hack for the Kindle 3.0.1 (serial number B006) with wi-fi and 3G?
    Which one FreeFont you think it’s better to use to decode Cyrillic font?

  • DX GRAPHITE B009 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    No, I didn’t try any other hack font but this for chinese caracters.

  • Anna

    I hoped that Admin will answer me too))
    does these hacks work on the Kindle 3?

  • smelly

    dear admin:
    I feel confused .
    the uninstall part
    “10 You may also want to uninstall “jailbreak” package so that you can install official Kindle updates. Please use appropriate uninstaller from the following list:”

    seems not finished. how could i do it?

  • Larisa

    I have just bought Kindle 3G, B006, and want to download Cyrillic font. Please advice. Thank you

  • ynavb

    Hi. I just got Kindle 3, software version 3.0.2. Do you have a hack for it yet? Thank you

  • ynavb

    Kindle 3 can now display Cyrillic (such as Russian), Japanese, Chinese (Traditional and Simplified), and Korean characters. No hack is needed

  • Lorentz

    Does anybody know if the new Kindle 3G has English-Chinese dictionary coming with it? if not, is there anyway to get one?? I don’t mean the E-book dictionary, Thank you very much!

  • admin

    Not until firmware 3.0 with unicode fonts is propageted to at least 2nd generation Kindles. I’ve tried to have English-Russian dinctionary published with cyrillic letters and couldn’t do it at the moment. This might change in the future.

  • oksana

    HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    For two days now I was reading about Kindle DX and how to start reading Russian books and I’m SOOOO confused. there are all this files, i tried to install one and got more confused when it said install the file into Kindle after I connected the USB cable from my laptop and Kindle nothing happened.

    Can somebody help me please, note I have a very little knowlege of PC so need more detailed instructions.

    Thank you…

    I just got Kindle DX version 2.3 and I think it is B0015

  • zorisof

    My Kindle’s version is 3.0.2 (529960105), serial number starting with B008. How can I install a cyrillic font?

  • Alex

    Ребята, нифига не получается, у меня версия Kindle 2.5.3 кто-нибудь может обьянить подробно на русском, как шрифт русский поставить, пожалуйста подскажите! Заранее очень благодарен!

  • kobi

    Hello dear admin, I was wondering, I just got my new kindle 3. 1. is it possible to install jailbreak on it? 2. Is there hebrew fonts for it?

  • Andrei Pushkin

    There is no need to hack Kindle 3 to update fonts – you can do it via config file.

  • Vadim

    Andrei, you mentioned – “There is no need to hack Kindle 3 to update fonts – you can do it via config file.”
    Can you provide detailed instruction how?

    Thank you

  • Oleg

    I need to replace the one font to another. How can I do this?

  • supakdee

    I tried to install jailbreak & Droid Fallback Fonts Kindle 2 International (serial number starts with B003) – update_ufh_droid_install-k2i.bin

    but still, my unicode show block everywhere.

    My firmware is 2.5.8

    What should I do

  • supakdee

    I tried to install jailbreak & Droid Fallback Fonts (recommened for Asian glyphs)

    But the unicode font still show block.

    My kindle is international K2 firmware 2.5.8

    What should I do?

  • It’s onerous to search out knowledgeable individuals on this matter, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

  • Ellie

    Dear admin,

    I have been enjoying your wonderful Unicode Hack for almost two years. I apply the hack while reading in Russian, revert back when reading in English (I like the delivered fonts better). Anyway, installing and uninstalling the hack has always been a breeze until my Kindle 2 was updated to v2.5.6. Now it won’t let me jailbreak it and the font update fails.

    What do I do? I tried resetting to factory settings but the stubborn update sticks. Is there a new version of the jailbreaker in the works?

    Many thanks!

  • Abdul

    “There is no need to hack Kindle 3 to update fonts – you can do it via config file.”

    is it possible to explain more about this? I couldnt find any config file on the kindle to change it.
    many thanks

  • raan

    Hi guys!
    Sorry for my english.
    Some minutes ago I have made successful update my K2 2.5.8 (B003) and by next step jailbroke it.
    The jailbreak I took here http://goo.gl/2JlF
    The main problem of the jailbreak was the message from Kindle about unsuccessful update, but after few attempts like this I made follow step and installed font hack. O-la-la!!! Now I have my Kindle with Cyrillic and version 2.5.8 + UFH 0.3

  • hateulah

    “Unicode font files are not deleted from Kindle but should cause no problems. If you would like to delete them – contact me and I’ll provide a separate patch for that”

    i uninstalled my kindle and those unicode font files are still available there. i would like to delete them, what should i do? can i just press delete button to delete them???

  • chen min

    Dear all:
    This is the first time for me to install hack on
    Droid Fallback Fonts for kindle DXG international, fail to work on alone with v2.5.8. Is there other soultion or anything I did wrong ?
    I thank you in advance.

  • sprgv

    Look here for latest font hacks:
    http://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/Kindle_Font_Hack_for_all_2.x_and_3.x_Kindles
    INCLUDING DX Graphite B009 – tried on mine, works just fine.

  • ram

    reading books in Arabic

  • ram

    kindle 3 3gp+wifi 3.2 reading books in Arabic???

  • I have kindle dx B009 but I want to read russian language how I can do that. Which font I should update?
    Thank you

  • Jason

    Hi there,

    I have UFH 0.3 installed with firmware 2.5.8 then I figured the Chinese characters cannot properly displayed. However, I’m not able to remove the UFH 0.3 pack and it shows U007 error every time on the lower left corner. Do you have any idea about this? Thanks for your help.

    Jason

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