Fonts w/o Infinality

Getting decent looking fonts in Linux seems to be an ongoing issue. Until just recently, if you ran a distro such as Arch, that runs packages as provided by upstream, the default font configuration settings created nearly unreadable fonts. It's common to see people refer to "eye bleeding fonts" when describing just how bad fonts can look in Linux. I always used the infinality font configuration by bohoomil. The subject of font configuration is complex and requires a major time investment to get enough of an understanding to set up good looking fonts via manually editing config files. Bohoomil made it easy to get good looking fonts with a minimum investment of time.

Fast forward to now, the infinality font configuration by bohoomil is obsolete and no longer works. Bohomil has not updated his work to stay compatible with upstream. His work has also reportedly been incorporated into upstream. However, it's not set up as default.

After removing bohoomil's packages and installed the Arch repo font related packages, I have come up with the following. It seems it doesn't look as good as Bohomil's work, but it's much better than the recent default font settings.

Packages Installed:

ttf-freefont

ttf-liberation

ttf-dejavu

terminus-font

xorg-fonts-100dpi

ttf-ms-fonts       (AUR package)


cairo

fontconfig

freetype2

gsfonts

xorg-mkfontdir

xorg-mkfontscale


The following is from the Arch wiki on font configuration.

Subpixel hinting mode configured in the file /etc/profile.d/freetype2.sh which includes a brief documentation. Possible values are
truetype:interpreter-version=35 (classic mode/2.6 default)
truetype:interpreter-version=38 ("Infinality" mode)
truetype:interpreter-version=40 (minimal mode/2.7 default).


I followed the above info and edited my /etc/profile.d/freetype2.sh, file shown below, to change the value in the uncommented line from 40 to 38.

_________________________________________________________________________

# Subpixel hinting mode can be chosen by setting the right TrueType interpreter
# version. The available settings are:
#
#     truetype:interpreter-version=35  # Classic mode (default in 2.6)
#     truetype:interpreter-version=38  # Infinality mode
#     truetype:interpreter-version=40  # Minimal mode (default in 2.7)
#
# There are more properties that can be set, separated by whitespace. Please
# refer to the FreeType documentation for details.

# Uncomment and configure below
export FREETYPE_PROPERTIES="truetype:interpreter-version=38"

___________________________________________________________________________

Be sure to check /etc/fonts/ for any left overs that may lead to problems. I had a left over local.conf that caused me a lot of wasted time and aggravation before figuring out what was wrong.

In xfce4, I use the font settings available at:  Settings > Appearance > Fonts tab. I use it to set the font to Liberation Sans *, the font size to 11, to enable anti-aliasing, set hinting to slight, and set the sub-pixel-order to none.



* = Use a web browser to read the documentation supplied by the freetype2 package on your system at /usr/share/doc/freetype2/index.html
      Point your web browser to: file:///usr/share/doc/freetype2/subpixel-hinting.html

QUOTE from subpixel-hinting.html : " PS: I recommend using the Liberation family of fonts (version 2 and up, important!) instead of Arial, Times New Roman, and Courier. The family harmonizes much better internally and is equipped with much better ClearType-ready hinting. Fedora still ships some 1.x version; you can get the newer 2.x with improved hinting and glyph coverage from here."

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