5.3. Improving Font Appearance Under X

Quite frankly, X has never been known for having particularly attractive fonts. In fact, many people resign themselves to the notion that having ugly, nasty fonts is an unfortunate fact of life under X.

Fortunately, it is possible to dramatically improve the look of, and increase the number of fonts you can use, under X. In fact, if you own a copy of Windows, you can even copy over the TrueType fonts from that platform and use them under X as well! Such font support is accomplished by using a font server such as ``xfstt'' or ``xfs''.

Red Hat 6.1 now includes support for ``xfs'' built in, and as a result provides attractive font support right out of the box. Therefore, if you're using this version of Linux, you may be satisfied with the way things are. However, there are a couple of things you can do to improve things still further, as well as make use of your TrueType fonts if you have them available.

To enable TrueType font support, create a directory (eg. ``/usr/local/share/ttfonts'') and copy any or all of the font files from your Windows system (where they can be found in the ``c:\windows\fonts'' directory) into the new directory.

Tip: Tip: If you do not have any TrueType fonts available to you, you can download them directly from Microsoft at http://www.microsoft.com/typography/fontpack/default.htm.

To make use of the fonts, from within your new ``ttfonts'' directory, type the following (as root):

ttmkfdir -o fonts.scale mkfontdir

Next, edit the ``/etc/X11/fs/config'' file, add add your new font directory to the list of existing directories. Also, change the default-point-size from 120 to 140, which will give you larger, more readable fonts.

Finally, exit X (if you haven't done so already), and restart your xfs server as follows:

/etc/rc.d/init.d/xfs restart

Finally, restart X and enjoy your glorious new fonts!

For more detailed information on improving font support under X, there is a very excellent resource called the ``XFree86 Font Deuglification Mini HOW-TO'' at http://www.frii.com/~meldroc/Font-Deuglification.html.