1. Introduction

You can have the coolest desktop widget theme, the most enlightened colors combination, and a very nice background wallpaper. Your desktop still won't look professional, clean, beautiful, and most important, comfortable, without good fonts.

It is a common sense nowadays that good fonts are a key element for good desktop usability, because we use to spend hours per day in front of computers, writing documents, dealing with huge spreadsheets, making presentations, browsing and chatting. So we are all the day reading text.

The font subsystem on Linux evolved a lot in the last years, from an old naming, handling and option of fonts, to the support of True Type, Bistream Vera, etc. As of release time of Fedora Core 2, components like Xft, FreeType and FontConfig, and higher level software usage of them has stabilized and is now considered mature. But Linux still has issues with optimal font rendering, most of them related to software patents that we describe in Section 2, “Why Fonts on Linux Aren't Straight Forward ?” below.