Fonts are one of then most complicated things on a Linux computer. There are many ways and also many license issues how sw handles them.

Tools to help getting an overview are gnome-font-viewer, fontypython, fslsfonts (lists fonts of the xserver), showfont.

Modern linux systems use fontconfig to standardize a way fonts are handled

For gentoo to reset it delete /etc/fonts/conf.d and then emerge -1 fontconfig then eselect fontconfig list

fc-list shows all fonts managed be fontconfig

fc-match will show what font will be used for a given pattern (as monospace and German language: fc-match Monospace:lang=ge

/usr/share/fonts is a place where font files are

fontforge is a tool to create fonts

xfd -fa dejavu-sans or xfd -fa "DejaVu Serif:style=Book" will show the glyphs in a fonts

gnome character map has a search option, typing the character into it ans search will bring up the font where the glyph is inside.

Setting up fonts


When configuring X it is important to make sure that it has the correct understanding of the size of your screen, make also sure that you're running LCDs at their native resolution, which is used to calculate the horizontal and vertical pitch (DPI) of the screen - fonts in GTK+ applications seem to get especially uglified by bad screen info. Defining the width and height of the screen (in millimeters) is done the following way and put in the Monitor section of /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Section "Monitor"
    Identifier          "Monitor0"
    DisplaySize         340 270

Example 6.1. Custom screen resolution

To get the DPI (Dots Per Inch) you need to know the resolution. Assume it is 1024 dots * 768 dots.

Horizontal DPI = 1024dots/340mm * 25.4mm/1inch = 76.5 DPI

Vertical DPI = 768dots/270mm * 25.4mm/1inch = 72.2 DPI

Asian fonts

Having the font is not enough, your character encoding and application must also able to select them (see UTF-8).

emerge media-fonts/kochi-substitute For Japanese

emerge media-fonts/arphicfonts For Chinese

emerge media-fonts/baekmuk-fonts For Korean

To test use Google language tools type in something English and translate it into Japanese , then copy and paste it into the console. Now an exercise! If your computer is configured correctly then you will see the 3 lines below with some Asian characters (glyphs), copy and paste the the first line in Google translate and select Japanese to English, then click on translate. For the second line Chinese to English and the third line Korean to English:



나는 스위스에서 온다

Font warnings in Xorg.log

If the log contains the request for mkfontdir /usr/share/fonts/100dpi and mkfontdir /usr/share/fonts/75dpi execute those commands.

If fonts are missing install the following







If still are missing fonts as TTF adn OTF create their directories mkdir /usr/share/fonts/TTF and mkfontdir /usr/share/fonts/TTF

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