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GNU/Linux Desktop Survival Guide
by Graham Williams

Install Fonts: No Font Server

Let's assume you are not using a font server.

A good guide to setting up fonts in X is available from http://egads.ertius.org/~rob/font_guide.txt. The following provides a summary!

We assume you are using xserver-xfree86 version 4.1 or later.

First install x-ttcidfont-conf and defoma.

Then add the following to the top of the Files section of /etc/X11/xorg.conf, so that TrueType fonts are available.

  FontPath "/var/lib/defoma/x-ttcidfont-conf.d/dirs/CID"
  FontPath "/var/lib/defoma/x-ttcidfont-conf.d/dirs/TrueType"

After installing any new TrueType fonts while in X be sure to run

  $ xset fp rehash

to ensure the new ones get noticed.

The order of fonts in the Files section has an impact on what fonts are used by Xorg. Be sure to give Type1 fonts (often rendered poorly in Xorg) a low priority by placing the following line at the end of the list of FontPaths:

 FontPath        "/usr/lib/X11/fonts/Type1"

Another trick is to avoid Xorg rescaling fonts by giving a higher priority to the unscaled fonts, by placing the following two lines relatively higher in the lits of FontPaths:

  FontPath        "/usr/lib/X11/fonts/100dpi:unscaled"
  FontPath        "/usr/lib/X11/fonts/75dpi:unscaled"

Direct from the above web page:

  Now that it's all setup, install some font packages.
  ttf-bitstream-vera is a rather nice set of fonts, and is Free
  (http://www.debian.org/intro/free) enough to go into Debian itself.
  It can be downloaded as a .deb from
  (or your local mirror) and install it with "dpkg -i
  ttf-bitstream-vera_1.10-3_all.deb" (as root).  sid and sarge users
  are just an "apt-get install ttf-bitstream-vera" away from it.
  Another option is ttf-freefont, which is in all three current
  versions of Debian.

For Japanese and other non-roman languages, you might want to try these
fonts: tfm-arphic-bsmi00lp, tfm-arphic-bkai00mp, tfm-arphic-gbsn00lp,
tfm-arphic-gkai00mp, hbf-jfs56, hbf-cns40-b5, hbf-kanji48, ttf-baekmuk
and ttf-thryomanes. 

Another alternative is to install Microsoft's Corefonts.  They removed
the fonts from their website, but the msttcorefonts package will
download them for you from a mirror.  Note that these are NOT Free (in
the Debian sense), but you're permitted to at least use and download

Both of these packages (and the other ttf-* packages in Debian) should
now Just Work, and appear available to all X programs that use the
regular "core" font system.  This includes things like xterm, emacs and
most other non-KDE and non-GNOME applications. 

Now, run "xfontsel" and select either "Microsoft" or "Bitstream" in the
fndry menu (click on the word "fndry").  Now look at the ungrayed out
entries in the "fmly" menu.  You should have a bunch of either Microsoft
fonts (Verdana, Trebuchet, etc) or some Bitstream ones (or both). 

For KDE2.2 and GNOME1.4 (with libgdkxft0, which is a hack to get GTK
1.2 to do anti-aliased font rendering), you need to setup Xft1, as
well.  Xft1 is highly deprecated, and is basically only used by
GNOME1.4 and KDE2.2.  For GNOME2 and KDE3, you need to setup
"fontconfig" which Xft2 uses to find fonts.  I'll get to that in a

Edit /etc/X11/XftConfig and add a line like

        dir "/var/lib/defoma/x-ttcidfont-conf.d/dirs/TrueType"

before the other dir lines.  I don't have any xft1 stuff on my machine
anymore, so I'm not sure if you need to restart X or not before this
change will take effect.  I seem to remember that "xftcache" would
update the Xft1 cache, but it'd be good if someone could confirm that
for me. 

Now, for fontconfig.  You shouldn't need to install anything extra for
this, since all the packages using fontconfig will Depend on it
(indirectly) already.  First, look in /etc/fonts/fonts.conf.  There
should be a line like the one below.  If not, open up
/etc/fonts/local.conf and add this


just after the <fontconfig> line. 

Fontconfig should pick these up immediately, and "fc-list" should list
your new fonts.  Another neat feature of fontconfig is that you can just
drop fonts in ~/.fonts/ and all your fontconfigified programs will have
access to them immediately.

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