Sunday, 28 March 2010

Fedora 12 – Improving the awful font rendering

Fedora 14 Users look here -

If you have compared Fedora to other distributions you may have observed the default font rendering in Fedora is quite horrible.

Below is a screen shot of a default Fedora 12 desktop. The fonts seem blurred and bold.

By default Fedora has three main issues when it comes to fonts.

1. The default font used and font rendering is awful.

2. It lacks the true type fonts required by many websites. As a result web pages look wrong / not nice.

3. The bytecode interpreter (patent bit of code) required to make true type fonts look nice is missing.

The good news is all of the above can easily be fixed by changing the default font rendering, installing the missing true type fonts and installing the bytecode interpreter.

Changing the default font rendering

Navigate to System > Preferences > Appearance

The following window will appear.

I found ‘Subpixel smoothing (LCDs)’ was the best option but that is my personal view. Use what you think looks good.

Since I do not like the default fonts I change them to the Liberation fonts which are included in Fedora.

The result of these changes can be seen in the above screen shot. Compare this to the very first screen shot at the beginning of this article or look at the difference on your system.

What do you think, better or worse?

Installing the True Type fonts

I simply copy all the true type fonts from a Windows system to a USB memory stick and then to the /usr/share/fonts/ directory.

Optimal use of True Type fonts, installing the Bytecode interpreter

You will need to enable the RPM Fusion repository on your system. Refer to

Now using the terminal type / paste the following,

su –c ‘yum install freetype-freeworld’

Close the terminal and reboot your system.

Browsing web sites with Firefox should now look nicer as you have all the required fonts and the bytecode interpreter enabled.

Or if your University requires all assignments to be written with Arial font, you now have that option in OpenOffice.