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Improve fonts archlinux

Improve Fonts

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Make your Arch fonts beautiful easily! This is what I do when I install Arch Linux to improve the fonts.

You may consider the following settings to improve your fonts for system-wide usage without installing a patched font library packages (eg. Infinality):

Install some fonts, for example:
sudo pacman -S ttf-dejavu ttf-liberation noto-fonts

Enable font presets by creating symbolic links:
sudo ln -s /etc/fonts/conf.avail/70-no-bitmaps.conf /etc/fonts/conf.d
sudo ln -s /etc/fonts/conf.avail/10-sub-pixel-rgb.conf /etc/fonts/conf.d
sudo ln -s /etc/fonts/conf.avail/11-lcdfilter-default.conf /etc/fonts/conf.d

The above will disable embedded bitmap for all fonts, enable sub-pixel RGB rendering, and enable the LCD filter which is designed to reduce colour fringing when subpixel rendering is used.

Enable FreeType subpixel hinting mode by editing:

/etc/profile.d/freetype2.sh

Uncomment the desired mode at the end:

export FREETYPE_PROPERTIES="truetype:interpreter-version=40"

For font consistency, all applications should be set to use the serif, sans-serif, and monospace aliases, which are mapped to particular fonts by fontconfig.

Create /etc/fonts/local.conf with following:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE fontconfig SYSTEM "fonts.dtd">
<fontconfig>
   <match>
      <edit mode="prepend" name="family">
         <string>Noto Sans</string>
      </edit>
   </match>
   <match target="pattern">
      <test qual="any" name="family">
         <string>serif</string>
      </test>
      <edit name="family" mode="assign" binding="same">
         <string>Noto Serif</string>
      </edit>
   </match>
   <match target="pattern">
      <test qual="any" name="family">
         <string>sans-serif</string>
      </test>
      <edit name="family" mode="assign" binding="same">
         <string>Noto Sans</string>
      </edit>
   </match>
   <match target="pattern">
      <test qual="any" name="family">
         <string>monospace</string>
      </test>
      <edit name="family" mode="assign" binding="same">
         <string>Noto Mono</string>
      </edit>
   </match>
</fontconfig>

Set your font settings to match above in your DE system settings.

Infinality Remix

If you want to use infinality you should try https://github.com/pdeljanov/infinality-remix
TL;DR
yay -S freetype2-infinality-remix fontconfig-infinality-remix cairo-infinality-remix

Enable font presets by creating symbolic links:
sudo ln -s /etc/fonts/conf.avail/70-no-bitmaps.conf /etc/fonts/conf.d
sudo ln -s /etc/fonts/conf.avail/10-sub-pixel-rgb.conf /etc/fonts/conf.d
sudo ln -s /etc/fonts/conf.avail/11-lcdfilter-default.conf /etc/fonts/conf.d

To be sure, inside /etc/fonts/local.conf add with following
change Favourite for your selected font (i.e Source Sans Pro, Droid Sans, Droid Serif, etc):

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<!DOCTYPE fontconfig SYSTEM "fonts.dtd">
<fontconfig>
  <match target="font">
    <edit mode="assign" name="hinting">
      <bool>true</bool>
    </edit>
    <edit mode="assign" name="autohint">
      <bool>false</bool>
    </edit>
    <edit mode="assign" name="hintstyle">
      <const>hintslight</const>
    </edit>
    <edit mode="assign" name="rgba">
      <const>rgb</const>
    </edit>
    <edit mode="assign" name="lcdfilter">
      <const>lcddefault</const>
    </edit>
    <edit mode="assign" name="antialias">
      <bool>true</bool>
    </edit>
  </match>
   <match>
      <edit mode="prepend" name="family">
         <string>Favourite Sans</string>
      </edit>
   </match>
   <match target="pattern">
      <test qual="any" name="family">
         <string>serif</string>
      </test>
      <edit name="family" mode="assign" binding="same">
         <string>Favourite Serif</string>
      </edit>
   </match>
   <match target="pattern">
      <test qual="any" name="family">
         <string>sans-serif</string>
      </test>
      <edit name="family" mode="assign" binding="same">
         <string>Favourite Sans</string>
      </edit>
   </match>
   <match target="pattern">
      <test qual="any" name="family">
         <string>monospace</string>
      </test>
      <edit name="family" mode="assign" binding="same">
         <string>Favourite Mono</string>
      </edit>
   </match>  
</fontconfig>

The following fonts are recommended and should be installed for a good experience:

  • Caladea (ttf-caladea)
  • Carlito (ttf-carlito)
  • DejaVu (ttf-dejavu)
  • Impallari Cantora (aur/ttf-impallari-cantora)
  • Liberation (ttf-liberation)
  • Noto (noto-fonts)
  • Open Sans (ttf-opensans)
  • Overpass (otf-overpass)
  • Roboto (ttf-roboto)
  • TeX Gyre (tex-gyre-fonts)
  • Ubuntu (ttf-ubuntu-font-family)
  • Courier Prime (aur/ttf-courier-prime)
  • Gelasio (aur/ttf-gelasio-ib)
  • Merriweather (aur/ttf-merriweather)
  • Source Sans Pro (aur/ttf-source-sans-pro-ibx)
  • Signika (aur/ttf-signika)

Older and deprecated

To improve the fonts in Arch we first need to add some additional fonts. Add the following to the terminal:

sudo pacman -S ttf-bitstream-vera ttf-inconsolata ttf-ubuntu-font-family ttf-dejavu ttf-freefont ttf-linux-libertine ttf-liberation

yay -S ttf-ms-fonts ttf-vista-fonts ttf-monaco ttf-qurancomplex-fonts

Next we will disable bitmat fonts, which are used as a fallback.

sudo ln -s /etc/fonts/conf.avail/70-no-bitmaps.conf /etc/fonts/conf.d

Now we need to add the Infinality repo to our pacman.conf file. To do this, open the file with gedit (or whatever text editor your using):

sudo vim /etc/pacman.conf

Add the following to your pacman.conf to use the infinality repo:

[infinality-bundle]
SigLevel = Never
Server = http://bohoomil.com/repo/$arch

[infinality-bundle-multilib]
SigLevel = Never
Server = http://bohoomil.com/repo/multilib/$arch

[infinality-bundle-fonts]
SigLevel = Never
Server = http://bohoomil.com/repo/fonts

Then uncomment the multilib on pacman configuration to download and install 32 bit package on 64 bit systems

[multilib] 
Include = /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist

Install the bundle:

sudo pacman -Syy infinality-bundle infinality-bundle-multilib # all question answer yes

Finally, reboot your system.

@ayylmaonade
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Appreciate this. Solved the issues I was having with font rendering entirely.

Thank you!

@illia-danko
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illia-danko commented Feb 12, 2022

For some reason, after the Newest steps has completed I still have blurring fonts (firefox). Updating the local.conf to the following fixing the blur fonts problem:

<?xml version='1.0'?>
<!DOCTYPE fontconfig SYSTEM 'fonts.dtd'>
<fontconfig>
    <match target="font">
        <edit mode="assign" name="antialias">
            <bool>true</bool>
        </edit>
        <edit mode="assign" name="embeddedbitmap">
            <bool>false</bool>
        </edit>
        <edit mode="assign" name="hinting">
            <bool>true</bool>
        </edit>
        <edit mode="assign" name="hintstyle">
            <const>hintslight</const>
        </edit>
        <edit mode="assign" name="lcdfilter">
            <const>lcddefault</const>
        </edit>
        <edit mode="assign" name="rgba">
            <const>rgb</const>
        </edit>
    </match>
    <match>
        <edit mode="prepend" name="family">
            <string>Noto Sans</string>
        </edit>
    </match>
    <match target="pattern">
        <test qual="any" name="family">
            <string>serif</string>
        </test>
        <edit name="family" mode="assign" binding="same">
            <string>Noto Serif</string>
        </edit>
    </match>
    <match target="pattern">
        <test qual="any" name="family">
            <string>sans-serif</string>
        </test>
        <edit name="family" mode="assign" binding="same">
            <string>Noto Sans</string>
        </edit>
    </match>
    <match target="pattern">
        <test qual="any" name="family">
            <string>monospace</string>
        </test>
        <edit name="family" mode="assign" binding="same">
            <string>Noto Mono</string>
        </edit>
    </match>
</fontconfig>

@buddhiko1
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Thank you very much! you have saved me a lot of time!

@manikandanraji
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thank you

@k6Q28k5w5eWuRuuzTg9j7GrKCbjt7
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This overrides any font configuration I set for terminals (foot, alacritty etc). Any way to avoid that so I have usable font with my terminals?
edit: nvm, seems like the font cache wanted a reboot.

@wpyoga
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wpyoga commented Sep 11, 2022

The directory /etc/fonts/conf.avail/ is no longer there, now the provided configuration files are stored at /usr/share/fontconfig/conf.avail/.

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