Ubuntu install log 5: Windows like font rendering (non-cleartype) in Ubuntu!

Needless to say, my experminets with Ubuntu as a primary OS is going great! No doubt, I don’t even need to wait for 3 months – I think Linux has already passed most of the tests with flying colors.

As I discussed earlier in this blog, a major problem I had with Ubuntu was the poor font rendering. I tweaked all the settings to death after copying the Windows fonts over to my Linux installation, but I never got any satisfactory results. Anti-aliasing seemed to be the reason for all the troubles. Then I came across this post by Charles at the PC-BSD forums. He has painfully created a set of configuration files which basically turn off the anti-aliasing for all Microsoft fonts. The result is outstanding!!

Just untar all the files over to your /etc/fonts folder.

cd /etc/fonts

cp *.conf /my/home/backup

sudo tar -xvjpf nicefonts.tbz

Log out and login. Here is a sample:

Antialiased Ubuntu!

Edit 16-July: I corrected the command line


11 thoughts on “Ubuntu install log 5: Windows like font rendering (non-cleartype) in Ubuntu!

  1. That looks pretty nice. I’ll need to give this a try when I get my Linux machine back up and running (I just moved so my PC is in a box).

  2. Great, working like a charm with Xorg-7 and Gentoo, but still have some wicked problems when browsing with firefox, ie text inside tags is sometimes to big.


  3. No, not like windows font rendering at all. Close but no prize. Open the screenshot on a Windows/LCD combo and compare.

    It’s a shame, the font-rendering is a major gripe I have with Ubuntu at present as eveything looks comparitively schmick in Windows, yet I still persist with Ubuntu, why oh why?

    Oddly enough, now I look closer, (most) text on my machine in Firefox looks perfectly schmick, but text in, say, the Terminal looks shite. I really can’t tell “i”s from “l”s for example, but this is not the case in Firefox. My radio buttons still looks bad though, in Firefox.

    …Hang on, you CAN tell “i”s from “l”s in that screenshot. Ok I’ll give it a go, it is an improvement (but not yet as good as Winblows).

    P.S. Sorry about stream -of-consciousness stuff, it’s Friday after work.

  4. Uhhh… ripping off Microsoft’s fonts wont make them happy, their are licensing issues surrounding the use of fonts.

    The best way to get nice looking fonts in Firefox is to just manually select them and deselecting the option allowing servers to deliver their own fonts to you. It’s also an idea to set the minimum font size to 16 or so (depending on your screen resolution and eyesight).

    I don’t use windows fonts at all, but google / firefox looks better on my desktop that yours.

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