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Fonts in Debian (KDE). What font do you use?

Asked by [ Editor ] , Edited by Fernando C. Estrada [ Admin ]

I installed the droid serif font from Ubuntu package with options RGB smoothing and full hinting.  This is hell. Your recommendations?
Screenshot here:

NN comments

Perhaps you could elaborate on what the problem might be?

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4 answers


hadret [ Moderator ]

Well, the thing is, that libcairo2 in Debian isn’t patched as the one in Ubuntu. You can use for example David Turner’s patch (or even ready package from my PPA ;)) or patches from Ubuntu. The second way needs some additional information:

1. You will have to patch libcairo2 AND libxft2 packages.
2. You will have to copy content of /etc/fonts/conf.d and /etc/fonts/fonts.conf from Ubuntu.

In both cases you need to set RGB smoothing, but not full!, slight hinting. Remember that DPI is also very important. Depending on your resolution, you need to set proper value. You can use for example this DPI Calculator.
As for fonts, I really like Droid and recently released, new default Ubuntu font.

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adam.trickett [ Editor ]


Debian installs the Deja Vu font family so I tend to use them because they are there. I know there are strings attached but I also install the Microsoft Core fonts because they are free to use, not that bad and commonly used in other people's web sites and documents, so it's handy to have access to them.

I've installed various open-source fonts such as Linux Libertine and Liberation as alternatives to their Microsoft namesakes. I've also installed other sets of fonts for fun reasons too.

I'm rather fond of Adobe Myriad Pro which is included in Adobe Acrobat Reader, I use that a lot with KDE4 and it's my default in OpenOffice for most of my word-processing.

What I really care about are fixed pitch fonts that I use in Konsole windows and for programming in my IDE. I've tried lots of options but I like my zero "0" to be marked so I can tell it apart from the letter oh "O" or "o". I'm dyslexic so I need a clear font to work well and I've tried lots of fixed pitch fonts:
  • Anonymous and Anonymous Pro
  • Monaco
  • Consolas
  • Inconsolata
  • Courier (several variations)
  • Lucida Console
  • Andale Mono
  • Droid Sans Mono
I'm not sure which I like best...

BTW: as a someone with dyslexia I don't like "Comic Sans" which is not easy to read as teachers seem to think, it's not even a sans-serif font...

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gnubyexample [ Editor ]

Liberation Serif and URW Bookman will both appear in a default install of Debian / Ubuntu Office suite, and are pretty close to the Droid Serif fonts (by Google) which you used.

Nothing wrong with the Droid suite of fonts in display terms, just thought it is useful to know alternatives also.

[ Your dropbox .png file is no longer visible so it is difficult to compare your output with what I see on my Debian install ]

Article here explains a little bit more about the difference between serif and sans-serif with some font output examples.
In KDE perhaps you might want a serif font for web browser or word processing that you would print, however would you really want a serif (rather than sans-serif) for your file manager?

Towards the end of that article, there is a quick example of using the fc-match tool, which can help you with suggestions for equivalents also.

I followed the link to that libxft2 patch, and reproduce an extract from the note here:
  “The patch author is still too unsure of the patent situation regarding this technology to do that now.”
Seems to explain why Debian do not include this patch in libxft2.

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