Now that it's all setup, install some font packages.
ttf-bitstream-vera is a rather nice set of fonts, and is Free
(https://www.debian.org/intro/free) enough to go into Debian itself.
It can be downloaded as a .deb from
(or your local mirror) and install it with "dpkg -i
ttf-bitstream-vera_1.10-3_all.deb" (as root). sid and sarge users
are just an "apt-get install ttf-bitstream-vera" away from it.
Another option is ttf-freefont, which is in all three current
versions of Debian.
For Japanese and other non-roman languages, you might want to try these
fonts: tfm-arphic-bsmi00lp, tfm-arphic-bkai00mp, tfm-arphic-gbsn00lp,
tfm-arphic-gkai00mp, hbf-jfs56, hbf-cns40-b5, hbf-kanji48, ttf-baekmuk
Another alternative is to install Microsoft's Corefonts. They removed
the fonts from their website, but the msttcorefonts package will
download them for you from a mirror. Note that these are NOT Free (in
the Debian sense), but you're permitted to at least use and download
Both of these packages (and the other ttf-* packages in Debian) should
now Just Work, and appear available to all X programs that use the
regular "core" font system. This includes things like xterm, emacs and
most other non-KDE and non-GNOME applications.
Now, run "xfontsel" and select either "Microsoft" or "Bitstream" in the
fndry menu (click on the word "fndry"). Now look at the ungrayed out
entries in the "fmly" menu. You should have a bunch of either Microsoft
fonts (Verdana, Trebuchet, etc) or some Bitstream ones (or both).
For KDE2.2 and GNOME1.4 (with libgdkxft0, which is a hack to get GTK
1.2 to do anti-aliased font rendering), you need to setup Xft1, as
well. Xft1 is highly deprecated, and is basically only used by
GNOME1.4 and KDE2.2. For GNOME2 and KDE3, you need to setup
"fontconfig" which Xft2 uses to find fonts. I'll get to that in a
Edit /etc/X11/XftConfig and add a line like
before the other dir lines. I don't have any xft1 stuff on my machine
anymore, so I'm not sure if you need to restart X or not before this
change will take effect. I seem to remember that "xftcache" would
update the Xft1 cache, but it'd be good if someone could confirm that
Now, for fontconfig. You shouldn't need to install anything extra for
this, since all the packages using fontconfig will Depend on it
(indirectly) already. First, look in /etc/fonts/fonts.conf. There
should be a line like the one below. If not, open up
/etc/fonts/local.conf and add this
just after the <fontconfig> line.
Fontconfig should pick these up immediately, and "fc-list" should list
your new fonts. Another neat feature of fontconfig is that you can just
drop fonts in ~/.fonts/ and all your fontconfigified programs will have
access to them immediately.