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23 Feb 2014

Enabling the "fixed" font family

I really love the “fixed” bitmap font family on Linux. It is readable at a much smaller size than any TrueType font I have found. Compare:

Fixed SemiCondensed 10 DejaVu Sans Mono 8 DejaVu Sans Mono 9

To enable this font in Xterm, add the following to your ~/.Xresources:

XTerm*font:             -*-fixed-medium-r-*-*-13-*-*-*-*-60-iso10646-1
XTerm*boldFont:         -*-fixed-medium-r-*-*-13-*-*-*-*-60-iso10646-1

On Ubuntu, all bitmapped fonts are disabled by default in fontconfig, so it is not possible to use this font in, say, gnome-terminal or xfce4-terminal. To enable this font, you must do the following, courtesy of cpitchford on Ubuntu Forums:

$ sudo su
$ cat > /etc/fonts/conf.avail/69-fixed-bitmaps.conf <<EOF
<?xml version="1.0"?>
<!DOCTYPE fontconfig SYSTEM "fonts.dtd">
  <!-- Enabled Fixed bitmap fonts -->
        <patelt name="family">
$ ln -s ../conf.avail/69-fixed-bitmaps.conf /etc/fonts/conf.d/
$ dpkg-reconfigure fontconfig-config
$ dpkg-reconfigure fontconfig

And then restart X. Presto!

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