Converting markdown posts to pdf on ubuntu takes a few packages from the standard repos. I had to go through a few stack overflow posts, and nothing seemed to have all the fonts and packages that I needed to convert markdown, but this is what ended up working for me.
sudo apt install \ pandoc \ texlive-latex-base \ texlive-fonts-recommended \ texlive-extra-utils \ texlive-latex-extra \ texlive-xetex
# older versions of pandoc, I needed this one on ubuntu 18.04 pandoc pages/til/convert-markdown-pdf-linux.md -o convert-markdown-pdf.pdf --latex-engine=xelatex # newer versions of pandoc, I needed this one on ubuntu 21.04 pandoc pages/til/convert-markdown-pdf-linux.md -o convert-markdown-pdf.pdf --pdf-engine=xelatex
Here is an image of what converting this article over to a pdf looks like. The raw markdown is here.