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DESKTOP Font rendering

How fonts look like for every person differ very strong, some prefer it Ubuntu-like, others sharper.

This guide is for people that want to improve the default font rendering without needs of any patches or extra packages.

Of course you can play with many settings and change them to what you like most.


Just open the Xfce Appearance settings, go to Fonts and change your preferred fonts and enable Antialiasing, then switch on Hinting to Slight. Then set Sub Pixel Rendering to RGB.

The last thing is the DPI setting: 96 is the most common setting, if you want to know what to put in here, then do:

xdpyinfo | grep resolution

that will tell you the value for your system.

That's it, log out and log in again.

Openbox/other WMs

First create a file called .Xdefaults in your home folder, maybe you have it already and add this to it:

Xft.autohint: 0
Xft.antialias: 1
Xft.hinting: true
Xft.hintstyle: hintslight
Xft.dpi: 96
Xft.rgba: rgb
Xft.lcdfilter: lcddefault

Only default CrunchBang after install

For some reason on a default #! install the fonts look not that good for us who want a better font appearance. Apply the above and just delete the content of .fontconfig in your home folder, log out and log in, that's it. If not then do this as root:

dpkg-reconfigure fontconfig-config

Select Autohinter, Always, No and followed by this as root:

dpkg-reconfigure fontconfig

Of course always log out and log in.

Bitmap fonts

For all that want to use some extra, nice and sharp bitmap fonts in your terminal we have to enable first the bitmap fonts under a default Debian/CrunchBang install:

cd /etc/fonts/conf.d/

and the following as root: rm -rf 70-no-bitmaps.conf

ln -s ../conf.avail/70-yes-bitmaps.conf .

dpkg-reconfigure fontconfig

Freetype Fonts

Some preferred fonts are Droid Sans, Liberation Sans, Nimbus Sans L and Cantarell. In Crunchbang Statler you have to use the backports to install Droid or take it from the Google site here: You'll find Cantarell and hundreds of other fonts there, too.

Terminal and Mono fonts

Terminus is a very popular font set, recommended for long hours in the console. Just install it from the repos:

apt-get install xfonts-terminus

Other nice terminal fonts are Anonymous Pro, Droid Sans Mono, Liberation Mono. You can use them also in Gedit or Mousepad, simply beautiful.

If you want to install some new fonts, especially bitmap fonts from outside the repos put them under ~/.fonts or for system wide use under /usr/share/fonts. If they do not show up then rebuild the font cache with:

fc-cache -fv

If you want to list all your fonts simply and fast from the terminal:


Extra fonts

If you need some basic Asian fonts that are not installed by default to be able to see especially web pages then install these packages on Squeeze:


or under Testing/Unstable:


Otherwise you can also install the package unifont, it will give you almost all obscure fonts you ever could need.

Special Chinese fonts are


Some people will need the Microsoft fonts, this package downloads them:

sudo apt-get install ttf-mscorefonts-installer

Chrome/ium and Webkit

Make a .fonts.conf in my home folder with that content:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
   <!DOCTYPE fontconfig SYSTEM "fonts.dtd">
   <match target="font" >
     <edit mode="assign" name="rgba" >
   <match target="font" >
     <edit mode="assign" name="hinting" >
   <match target="font" >
     <edit mode="assign" name="hintstyle" >
   <match target="font" >
     <edit mode="assign" name="antialias" >
   <match target="font">
     <edit mode="assign" name="lcdfilter">

Afterwards all of the nasty looking Webkit browsers should look normal and even your whole system fonts will be a bit more Ubuntu-like.

If you also want to apply the above to have good fonts as root, e.g. Synaptic, Thunar etc. or system wide in general, you could put this fonts conf into:


and name it local.conf, do not change fonts.conf. Now you will have nice fonts even as root.

Fonts resources

Original Forums thread

This guide is taken from the forums thread written by ivanovnegro:

howto/font_rendering.txt · Last modified: 2012/06/06 20:48 by machinebacon
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