Optimal Use of Fonts on Linux

Avi Alkalay

IBM Linux Impact Team :: ibm.com/linux
Linux, Open Standards consultant :: IT and Software Architect

Donovan Rebbechi

Hal Burgiss


Revision History
Revision 2007-04-1515 Apr 2007avi
Included support to SUSE installation for the RPM scriptlets on template spec file, listed SUSE as a BCI-enabled distro.
Revision 2007-02-0808 Feb 2007avi
Fixed some typos, updated Luc's page URL, added DejaVu sections, added link to FC6 Freetype RPMs, added link to Debian MS Core fonts, and added reference to the gnome-font-properties command.
Revision 2006-07-0202 Jul 2006avi
Included link to Debian FreeType BCI package, improved the glossary with Latin1 descriptions, more clear links on the webcore fonts section, instructions on how to rebuild source RPM packages in the BCI appendix, updated the freetype recompilation appendix to cover new versions of the lib, authorship section reorganized.
Revision 2006-04-0202 Apr 2006avi
Included link to FC5 Freetype.bci contribution by Cody DeHaan.
Revision 2006-03-2525 Mar 2006avi
Updated link to BCI Freetype RPMs to be more distro version specific.
Revision 2005-07-1919 May 2005avi
Renamed Microsoft Fonts to Webcore Fonts, and links updated. Added X.org Subsystems section.
Revision 2005-05-2525 May 2005avi
Comment related to web pages in the Microsoft Fonts section
Revision 2005-05-1010 May 2005avi
Old section-based glossary converted to real DocBook glossary. Modernized terms and explanations on the glossary. Included concepts as charsets, Unicode and UTF-8 in the glossary.
Revision 2005-03-3131 Mar 2005avi
Desktop configuration guidelines improved for higher resolution screens. Better layout for authors.
Revision 2005-02-1818 Feb 2005avi
Included BCI support status for Mandrake and Gentoo. Added link to Firefox configuration hack. Included link to Scribus site. Removed broken and outdated info links.
Revision 2005-01-1212 Jan 2005avi
E-mail addresses more difficult to figure out for machines.
Revision 2004-12-2424 Dec 2004avi
Small corrections and DocBook improvements.
Revision 2004-12-1212 Dec 2004avi
Typos correction by Scott Brayban (sgrayban borgnet us). Finished links to msfonts and freetype RPMs.
Revision 2004-12-055 Dec 2004avi
Merged with FDU-HOWTO. Finished RPM sections. Added "need help" appendix. Finished "About this doc" appendix. Ready for peer revision.
Revision 2004-11-2727 Nov 2004avi
Created first sections. Merged with Font-HOWTO.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Why Fonts on Linux Aren't Straight Forward ?
2.1. X.org Font Subsystems
3. The Easy Steps to Enlighten Your Desktop
3.1. Get a Better FreeType RPM
3.2. Configure Your Desktop
4. Font Packages
4.1. Bitstream Vera Fonts
4.2. DejaVu Fonts
4.3. Webcore Fonts
5. Producing Portable Documents
5.1. Linux to Windows and vice-versa
5.2. Linux to Linux
5.3. Any to Any with OpenOffice.org and Bitstream Vera Fonts
5.4. A Very Small Guide of Style
6. Create RPMs of Your Fonts
6.1. Step 1: Prepare Your Environment to Build The Package
6.2. Step 2: Prepare the Fonts Files to Package
6.3. Step 3: Create a .spec File With This Template
6.4. Step 4: Build It
7. Designer's Guide for Modern Good Looking Documents
7.1. Families of Typefaces
7.2. Classifications of Typefaces
7.3. Ligatures, Small caps fonts and expert fonts
7.4. Font Metrics and Shapes
8. Font Technologies
8.1. Bitmap Fonts
8.2. TrueType Fonts
8.3. Type 1 Fonts
8.4. Type3 Fonts
8.5. Type 42 Fonts
8.6. Type 1 vs TrueType -- a comparison
9. Getting Fonts For Linux
9.1. True Type
9.2. Type 1 Fonts and Metafont
10. Useful Font Software for Linux
11. Ethics and Licensing Issues Related to Type
12. References
12.1. Font Information
12.2. Postscript and Printing Information
A. Recompiling FreeType for BCI
B. Recompiling an RPM Ready for Your Distribution
C. We Need Your Help
D. About this Document