Quick Font Fixes for Red Hat Linux 6.2

by Charlton Rose

After installing a fresh copy of Red Hat Linux 6.2 with X, you may have noticed that the default font configuration makes the text in many of your X applications quite ugly and very difficult to read. This document describes a couple of quick fixes you use to immediately enhance the font properties of your X installation.

Although these tips have been designed for and tested only on Red Hat Linux 6.2 systems, they may be applicable to other Linux distributions as well. If you are not using Red Hat Linux and you discover that some of the steps described below require modification for your particular distribution, please share your experience with me so I can incorporate your knowledge into future versions of this document.

Fonts for a Windows World

Let's face it. We live in a Windows world. Most of the world's web pages are designed by Windows users to be used by Windows users, so if you're using Linux and you're tired of looking at ugly Netscape pages, you'll want to implement this fix first.

We're going to set up your machine so that it supports Windows True Type fonts. Well, no, not really. Truth is, your machine already does that. But what we are going to do is make sure that all of your Windows font files are available to your system which already supports them.

Get ready!

First, switch to one of your TTYs, log in to your machine as root, and kill X.


Next, change into your default font directory:

Now, you need to make a TrueType directory. You can create this directory either virtually or physically.

If you, like me, have a dual boot system -- you use Windows only for games, of course -- yeah, right -- then the best solution is to make a soft link to your Windows font directory.

(This example assumes, probably incorrectly, that you have mounted your Windows partition to "/dos/e" and that your fonts directory on that partition is at "\winnt\Fonts". You must make the necessary changes so that the path accurately reflects the location of your own Windows font directory.)

If, on the other hand, your system does not have a Windows partition, or you are unwilling or unable to mount it, you must make the directory the old fashioned way,

and then you must manually copy your favorite Windows font files into this directory. (If you don't know how to copy files in Linux, give up now. You shouldn't be anywhere near this document.)

Which ever approach you took, the following steps apply to both situations.

Change into the TrueType directory:

And then run the following commands:

Some users, but not Red Hat 6.2 users, may also need a third command:

That's it. You're done with this part of the font overhaul.

Fonts for High Resolution Displays

It doesn't seem right, but the folks at Red Hat have apparently assumed that we are all using 640 by 480 displays and really large monitors. Because of this, the default font resolution is absolutely horrible. Whether you added support for Windows fonts or not, you at least want to fix the default font resolution.

Fortunately, this is quite easy. If you haven't already, log in as root and kill X, as described in the previous section. Next, open up the file containing your font path:

(I am assuming you know how to use vi. If not, find another editor, such as pico.)

Now the changes you need to make here are quite simple. Simply find the line that begins with "catalogue =" and rearrange the order of the font directories so that all the directories containing "100" appear before the directories containing "75".


Save your work, exit, and restart X:

If all went well, you should immediately notice an improvement in your system's fonts. Suddenly, everything is much more bearable. Have fun!

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