2016-08-04

Fedora: Fixing fonts

Someone on twitter commented that I should write an article about how to fix fonts on Fedora. Sadly this is not something I am able to do. That doesn't mean there isn't a problem, just that I don't have the font specialist eye where they can look at a screen and go "OMG THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG HERE!!!!" in the way that someone who is slightly flat or sharp drives me bonkers. [I on the other hand can happily read a webpage in Comic Sans or Papyrus and wonder why everyone looking over my shouldr is cringing and hissing as I do so.]

That said, I did some research on why fonts look like 'crap' compared to Ubuntu and Windows. It looks like the reason is that there is an option in many fonts called "subpixel rendering" which are not enabled in Fedora but is enabled in other distributions. This looks to be done due to Microsoft having various software patents on ClearType which do not end until 2019. [Other patents ended earlier but those only cover the older TrueType fonts.]

There seem to be fixes that will work for people outside of areas that are covered under current software patents (which for all I know is nowhere because of some super secret trade agreement).

  1. Look at ask.fedoraproject.org for steps to use. 
  2. Look at installing and enabling RPM fusion on your system.
  3. Follow the steps in 1.
Or you can look at something like fedy which I am going to point to the source code for. I don't recommend using the method listed on their website because using a blind su "curl" is a recipe for disaster. Instead I would recommend looking at the code, seeing if you would want to run that on your system and then doing it by hand. 

[I don't care that all the cool kids use a bash -c 'su - "curl ... && run" thing with their nodes and their rubies. I would end with a rant about emacs being good enough for anyone and that the kids are on my lawn.. but you all see that coming anyway.]
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