Ubuntu's smooth LCD fonts in Fedora 11 for Dummies
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  1. #1
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    Ubuntu's smooth LCD fonts in Fedora 11 for Dummies

    Compare Fedora's default fonts with Ubuntu's here and here. If you want the smoothness of Ubuntu's LCD subpixel rendering in F11 then this post is for you.

    This is basically a simple "cheat" version for F11 of Breb's original thread, that thread has links to some excellent resources and info if you want to really understand what's going on.

    UPDATE: directfb and xcb-util packages must be installed, check by doing: 'yum install directfb xcb-util'

    0. In your home directory create a file named .Xresources (don't forget the dot) with this line:

    Code:
    Xft.lcdfilter: lcddefault
    1. Now, as root, create a directory for the libs that we will replace, and backup the current libs:

    Code:
    su -
    mkdir -p ufonts/fedora
    cd ufonts
    cp -a /usr/lib/lib{cairo,freetype,pixman,Xft}* fedora/
    (For x86_64, replace /usr/lib/ by /usr/lib64/ in the above and everywhere below)

    2. Extract the required ubuntu libs from these debian packages, libcairo2, libfreetype6, libxft2, libpixman-1-0

    or just unpack one of these tarballs 32bit libs, 64bit libs


    so that you have these libs in ufonts/ (64bit sizes will be larger):

    Code:
    $ ls -l
    ...
    drwxrwxr-x. 2 user user   4096 2009-06-25 20:37 fedora
    -rw-r--r--. 1 user user 494036 2009-02-14 00:47 libcairo.so.2.10800.6
    -rw-r--r--. 1 user user 480644 2009-04-23 13:26 libfreetype.so.6.3.20
    -rw-r--r--. 1 user user 284892 2009-04-29 18:03 libpixman-1.so.0.14.0
    -rw-r--r--. 1 user user  75704 2009-02-27 04:22 libXft.so.2.1.13
    3. Create a few symbolic links to solve lib dependencies in libcairo (x86_64 users specify /usr/lib64/):

    Code:
    ln -s /usr/lib/libdirect-1.2.so.0 /usr/lib/libdirect-1.0.so.0
    ln -s /usr/lib/libdirectfb-1.2.so.0 /usr/lib/libdirectfb-1.0.so.0
    ln -s /usr/lib/libfusion-1.2.so.0 /usr/lib/libfusion-1.0.so.0
    4. Now boot into text mode (append 1 or 3 to the grub boot line by hitting 'a' at the grub boot screen) and as root copy the libs over (x86_64 users specify /usr/lib64/):

    Code:
    cp /root/ufonts/lib* /usr/lib/
    And that's it, reboot, login and you should see much smoother fonts. If not, open System->Preferences->Appearance->Fonts and ensure Subpixel smoothing (LCDs) is selected, and in Details choose 'Slight' Hinting.


    Check the filter and hinting is enabled with xrdb -query:
    Code:
    $ xrdb -query
    Xcursor.size:	24
    Xcursor.theme:	Bluecurve
    Xcursor.theme_core:	true
    Xft.antialias:	1
    Xft.dpi:	96
    Xft.hinting:	1
    Xft.hintstyle:	hintslight
    Xft.lcdfilter:	lcddefault
    Xft.rgba:	rgb
    Last edited by sideways; 2nd July 2009 at 03:36 PM.

  2. #2
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    To return to original Fedora fonts, boot into text mode and as root do

    Code:
    cp -a /root/ufonts/fedora/* /usr/lib/
    (specify /usr/lib64 for x86_64)

  3. #3
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    I made an edit to post #1, since on a new install I found that directfb and xcb-util were not installed.

    Here is a script to run from init 1 which does everything else, assuming ufonts32.tar.gz is in /root/ directory and your user is called 'user1'

    Code:
    ln -s /usr/lib/libdirect-1.2.so.0 /usr/lib/libdirect-1.0.so.0
    ln -s /usr/lib/libdirectfb-1.2.so.0 /usr/lib/libdirectfb-1.0.so.0
    ln -s /usr/lib/libfusion-1.2.so.0 /usr/lib/libfusion-1.0.so.0
    
    mkdir -p /root/ufonts/fedora
    cd /root/ufonts
    cp -a /usr/lib/lib{cairo,freetype,pixman,Xft}* fedora/
    
    tar xvf /root/ufonts32.tar.gz
    
    cp lib* /usr/lib/
    
    echo "Xft.lcdfilter: lcddefault" >> /home/user1/.Xresources
    and for x86_64, assuming unfonts64.tar.gz is in /root/ directory :

    Code:
    ln -s /usr/lib64/libdirect-1.2.so.0 /usr/lib64/libdirect-1.0.so.0
    ln -s /usr/lib64/libdirectfb-1.2.so.0 /usr/lib64/libdirectfb-1.0.so.0
    ln -s /usr/lib64/libfusion-1.2.so.0 /usr/lib64/libfusion-1.0.so.0
    
    mkdir -p /root/ufonts/fedora
    cd /root/ufonts
    cp -a /usr/lib64/lib{cairo,freetype,pixman,Xft}* fedora/
    
    tar xvf /root/ufonts64.tar.gz
    
    cp lib* /usr/lib64/
    
    echo "Xft.lcdfilter: lcddefault" >> /home/user1/.Xresources
    Do not run these scripts more than once (it'll copy over your backup of the fedora libs), and do not run from from graphical mode, do it from init 1 or 3.

    You can install MS True Type core fonts for nicer fonts when browsing: http://www.mjmwired.net/resources/mj...a-f10.html#ttf

    If anything goes terribly wrong and you can't recover the libs with the command in post #2 (eg you've deleted or overwritten them) then boot into rescue mode and type 'cp -a /usr/lib/lib{cairo,freetype,Xft,pixman}* /mnt/sysimage/usr/lib/' (replace lib/ with lib64/ on x86_64)
    Last edited by sideways; 17th July 2009 at 01:49 PM. Reason: typos

  4. #4
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    Hello sideways,

    Thank you so much for the great tutorial.
    Although «Beauty is bought by judgement of the eye», I find this sub-pixel font rendering more pleasing to the eye and more readable.

    As a side-note, just a few typos in post #3 :
    Here is a script to run from init 1 which does everything else, assuming unfonts32.tar.gz is in /root/ directory and your user is called 'user1'
    should read ufonts32.tar.gz, same for unfonts64.tar.gz
    ln -s /usr/lib64/libdirect-1.2.so.0 /usr64/lib/libdirect-1.0.so.0
    should read /usr/lib64/libdirect-1.0.so.0

    Would you mind if I translate your tuto in French and post it on www.fedora-fr.org with reference to the original post ?

    Cheers

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    cenomanien, thanks for picking up the typos, I edited the post

    Sure you can add this info to fedora-fr, I just simplified the tips from brebs and lmo's posts anyway, so all info posted here is free to copy and plagiarise.

    Beware that the ubuntu libraries linked to will only work on F11, you'd have to find the equivalent versions to match earlier fedoras. Also, you might want to host the ufontsxx.tar.gz somewhere else (eg on a free file host) in case the above download link becomes unavailable.

    btw, I asked sideways for permission to post this on his behalf, he's gone to live on a mountain remote from modern society and the internet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wvn
    i too prefer fedora fonts.
    You mean ubuntu fonts don't you? Do your fedora fonts look as good as this:



    (that's after applying ubuntu libs as described and installing MS TrueType Fonts
    Last edited by Gödel; 17th July 2009 at 02:33 PM.

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    That's a lot of work for blurry fonts in my opinion.

    If you just want to enable BCI hinting, all you need to do is 'yum install freetype-freeworld' with the RPMFusion repo installed.

    I don't like BCI hinting myself. I just enable sub-pixel rendering, set hinting to full, and the subpixel order to VRGB. With these settings my fonts are clear and sharp.

    Regardless, it's nice of you to take the time to post this for those interested.
    Last edited by rexbinary; 21st July 2009 at 07:57 AM.
    EDIT: I seldom post without an edit.

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    You mean ubuntu fonts don't you?
    No i mean fedora fonts. I really do m8.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wvn
    No i mean fedora fonts. I really do m8.
    Well can I ask you not to post your content-free (and uninteresting) personal views in this thread, thanks.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rexbinary
    That's a lot of work for blurry fonts in my opinion.

    If you just want to enable BCI hinting, all you need to do is 'yum install freetype-freeworld' with the RPMFusion repo installed.

    I don't like BCI hinting myself. I just enable sub-pixel rendering, set hinting to full, and the subpixel order to VRGB. With these settings my fonts are clear and sharp.

    Regardless, it's nice of you to take the time to post this for those interested.
    Isn't VRGB for lcd panels with vertically arranged elements?!

    I don't notice any difference in font rendering before and after installing freetype-freeworld, do you (or anyone else) have a comparison screenshot to show the difference?

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    1 small question. Is this subpixel font rendering meant for laptop lcd screens. I'm asking because my existing F11 w/o any changes looks better than both the fedora 11 images in http://www.jbg.f2s.com/fonts/big/fontsb.html . The fonts in the image seem colored, whereas my fonts appear normal.
    Fedora 14 Laughlin user on Dell Inspiron 1525
    http://www.smolts.org/client/show/pu...0-71f71be44f7d :)

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    Quote Originally Posted by pankajp
    1 small question. Is this subpixel font rendering meant for laptop lcd screens. I'm asking because my existing F11 w/o any changes looks better than both the fedora 11 images in http://www.jbg.f2s.com/fonts/big/fontsb.html . The fonts in the image seem colored, whereas my fonts appear normal.
    Yes, subpixel rendering it's aimed at LCD screens only, but sometimes people like the effect it produces on CRTs.

    Fonts are a very subjective experience, I'm always surprised that so many people leave ClearType disabled on Windows. I guess the same people wouldn't like the "smoothing" effect explained here.

    It's ironic that the new display technology requires so much effort to get nice fonts compared to old-school crt monitors which have a natural smoothing effect builtin

    http://avi.alkalay.net/linux/docs/fo...ont.html#intro

    If you ever run an emulator for old game consoles, you'll think the graphics look terrible (blocky) compared to how they looked on a plain old tv in the 80s/90s.

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    Attention blurry font fans:

    The latest Fedora 11 updates will update the cairo rpm to cairo-1.8.8-1.fc11, and this replaces libcairo.so.2.10800.6 with libcairo.so.2.10800.8, so that now needs to be replaced by the ubuntu version.

    Extract it from this ubuntu libcairo2 package, or for the lazy here are gzipped versions: 32 bit, 64 bit

    As before, boot into text mode and copy over the existing libcairo.so.2.10800.8 (after making a backup)

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    Anyone bother trying these fonts ?
    Code:
    google-droid-fonts-common-1.0.112-6.fc11.noarch
    google-droid-serif-fonts-1.0.112-6.fc11.noarch
    google-droid-sans-fonts-1.0.112-6.fc11.noarch
    google-droid-sans-mono-fonts-1.0.112-6.fc11.noarch
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