Fonts in Debian

Using True Type Fonts

To improve the font set available to Debian (and Linux in general) download and install True Type Web Core Fonts. These were made available by Microsoft in a moment of madness, then later pulled (donaters remorse).

As root:

# aptitude install msttcorefonts

Debian will download and install the fonts ready for use.

These are my KDE font settings:

General: Tahoma 8
Fixed width: Courier New 9
Toolbar: Tahoma 8
Menu: Tahoma 8
Window Title: Trebuchet 10
Taskbar: Tahoma 8
Desktop: Tahoma 8

Use anti-aliasing: Enabled
Force fonts DPI: 96 DPI

Exclude range: 0.0pt to 12.0pt
Hinting style: Full (could be reduced to Medium)

It makes such a difference. I did a previous post on Poor Fonts in GTK apps running in KDE.

There's a good read on Linux fonts: Optimal Use of Fonts on Linux. It has some spelling errors and typos, just ignore them.

That's about it.


  1. I like the DejaVu anf the Free fonts:

    DejaVu Sans, DejaVu Serif and DejaVu Mono
    FreeSans, Free Serif and FreeMono

    To me, these are more than enough to beat any non-free M$ fonts.

    In Debian, they are provided by the packages ttf-dejavu and ttf-freefont.

    Freedom matters. M$ fonts might be gratis, but they are definitely *not free*!

    Cassiano Leal

  2. Yeah, they aren't free, but they are the best out there. May be because Microsoft is not the developer :) MS just bought them. Anyway, DejaVu and Liberation have some way to walk before they can even compare.
    I personally prefer Lucida Sans Typewriter to Courier New for a monospaced font. Lucida Console is even better, but isn't on the package.

  3. Hi cassianoleal.

    I would like to agree with you but I find that with 1 or 2 exceptions, most FreeFonts are not good enough.

    I tried running with FreeFonts for a while but the Linux Desktop looked dire.

    The situation may change sometime in the future, and if it does I will switch to FreeFonts.

    Reluctantly, I installed MS TT fonts. And I now have a really great looking desktop with excellent font rendering.

    Read the article I linked to in my post. It is a good read.

    All the best.


  4. Hi Spirtbrat,

    I use Lucida Sans Typewriter for my XTerm font, but I find at smaller sizes it isn't as clear as Courier New. That's just a personal preference.

    Apart from that I agree with you. MS donated Web Fonts are better than Free Fonts (at the moment). The situation may change, and if it does I will look at it again and consider switching.

    A good article on the history of TrueType Fonts:

    Most of the work was done by Apple. You can't rely on MS to produce decent technology. Everything they do has a hook.