Run Gnome Faster, Cleaner and Healthier

If you are like me, you will not like the default fonts that ship with standard Linux distributions these days. (Except for Fedora, which has some nice fonts that look and feel very close to Windows). Even die-hard Open Source/Linux enthusiasts will admit that MS Windows has far better looking fonts than GNU ones. In any case, if you want to use the same fonts in a modern linux desktop, follow these steps:

(I did this on RH 9, but should work on any distribution that ships with GTK2+ which includes, but not limited to, Mandrake 9.x or even 10 beta, Fedora and SuSE. I also assume that you have a valid Windows OS licence and mounted the c drive at /mnt/windows).

-First, turn off font aliasing in GTK. Add the following two lines to your .bash_profile (Assuming bash is your shell, which is, in 99 % of the cases)

export GDK_USE_XFT

-As root, type the following in a console

mkdir  /usr/X11R6/ttfonts
cp /mnt/windows/windows/fonts/*.ttf /usr/X11R6/ttfonts
cd /usr/X11R6/ttfonts
ttmkfdir -o fonts.dir
/usr/sbin/chkfontpath --add /usr/X11R6/ttfonts

Logout and login back into Gnome(Which also restarts your X Server). Your Gnome desktop will now look unbearably ugly. Wait a minute.

-Go to Preferences -> Fonts and select Tahoma 8 point for Application Fonts and Tahoma 8 point bold for
Desktop fonts. Select Trebuchet MS 10 point bold for Window title. Select your preferred terminal font also.

-Enjoy the new look of your desktop. It should be atleast 10 % faster (because of font anti-aliasing, which we have turned off) and much better looking. It also turns out that non anti-aliased fonts are less straining for the eyes. [Reason: Anti aliasing blurrs the fonts, but your eyes will try to make them sharper by defocussing, which strains the eyes. Please correct me if I am wrong, I am not a physician :-)].



Mandrake back to Profitability

This is good news for all Drake fans. A return to profitability means a lot of things for the customers. After Redhat going the ‘community’ way, enthusiasts are left with only two options – SuSE or Mandrake. There were questions raised on Mandrake’s future – this will silence many of the detractors of MandrakeSoft.