Emacs, scripting and anything text oriented.

Installing custom fonts in Linux

Kaushal Modi

I’ll step through how to set custom fonts for xterm terminal. My default shell is tcsh.

  1. Create a folder .fonts in your $HOME directory.
  2. Download fonts of your choice (ttf or otf format to ~/.fonts).
  3. Refresh the fonts cache with fc-cache -fv.
  4. You can verify if your custom fonts got added to the cache using fc-list. For example, I would do fc-list -f "%{family}\n" | sort -u | grep 'Inconsolata'1 to check if my downloaded Inconsolata fonts got into the font cache.
  5. Add the below .Xdefaults snippet to your ~/.Xdefaults
  6. Add xrdb -merge $HOME/.Xdefaults to your shell init script. My shell init script is ~/.alias.

    *customization: -color
    XTerm*termName: xterm-256color
    xterm*saveLines:        500
    xterm*scrollBar:        false
    xterm*cursorColor:      white
    xterm*pointerColor:     white
    xterm*Foreground:       white
    xterm*Background:       black
    xterm*c132:             true
    xterm*loginShell:       false
    ! Fonts
    ! XTerm*faceName: DejaVu Sans Mono:size=11
    ! XTerm*faceName: Inconsolata:size=11
    ! XTerm*faceName: Inconsolata\\-dz:style=dz:size=11
    XTerm*faceName: Inconsolata\\-g:style=g:size=11

Done! Now source your shell init script and launch xterm.

Note: In order to use font names with hyphens in them, I had to escape them by using \\. So for the Inconsolata-g font, I have XTerm*faceName: Inconsolata\\-g:style=g:size=11.

It might be helpful to add the below aliases to your tcsh init script for quick font refresh and check, using fontsrefresh; fontsavail | grep 'Inconsolata'.

alias fontsavail   'fc-list -f "%{family}\n" | sort -u'
alias fontsrefresh 'fc-cache -fv'

  1. You can download Inconsolata font from here. [return]

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