Optimal use of fonts in GNU/Linux

September 05, 2006
Ask any person who has used a computer atleast once and he will agree that fonts form a very important part of the operating system which is installed in the computer. At one time, GNU/Linux lacked good font support and any webpage viewed in a web browser was at the most lackluster.

Things changed somewhat with the release of good set of fonts for GNU/Linux called Bitstream. But even now the Linux counterparts (Mac OSX and Windows) enjoy a slight edge as far as good fonts are concerned. One look on the web will throw up lots of fonts and each of them can be installed in Linux but they lack in one aspect or the other and it costs a bundle to buy a good set of fonts. So the big question is - how do you enhance your Linux experience ? And is it possible to do so with the default set of fonts that are bundled with Linux?

Avi Alkalay, Donovan Rebbechi and Hal Burgiss together has written an enlightening article which explains all the facets related to fonts and how one can optimally use fonts in Linux which makes an informative read. I found the article exhaustive in its handling of this subject and contain such unique information as different types of fonts, steps for migrating a set of fonts from one system to another, the font technologies such as true type, bitmap fonts and so on, different places from where one can source good fonts for use in Linux and finally a collection of font software for Linux. The article is replete with screenshots and is a must read for any Linux enthusiast who is interested in further enhancing the user experience in Linux.


  • That's one area I find bad on my Ubuntu switch machine. Firefox fonts are ok, not good, but ok. But Opera they are really bad.

    Thanks for the link.

    (Microsoft fonts installed true automatix).

  • Thanks for mentioning this HOWTO. It is an official Linux Documentation Project HOWTO. I keep receiving many new suggestions and updates from the community.

    In the begining Don and Hal wrote two separate font-related HOWTOs. Most of the content of both was obsolete when I started to get involved with font issues. Then I contacted them and suggested to fuse both documents, keeping only the non-obsolete parts. And I wrote all the new parts. Authorship of each section is at the appendix.

    I have other Linux HOWTOs about computer time precision, high quality apps, and a few others in portuguese.