I want to like Linux, but the fonts are so ugly

I’m trying out Linux-on-the-desktop for the umpteenth time, and it certainly is coming along. Ubuntu 7.10 this time. It’s good, but the fonts look horrible. For one thing, the sub-pixel rendering doesn’t work as well as Windows (I think maybe Microsoft have a patent on this or something, because their sub-pixel rendering is better than Apple 's and that of Gnome/KDE). But the main thing is, the standard font family in Ubuntu (something called Vera, I think donated by Bitstream) is, while nice enough, too damn wide for everyday GUI use. None of the more practical narrower fonts delivered with Ubuntu look as nice or stand up to hinting/sub-pixel rendering even as well as Vera does.

I know this may sound superficial, but I likes me nice fonts. Macs have had a high quality selection of fonts to play with for quite a while, and recently Microsoft seems to have got a clue font-wise too, making Windows text very nice to read. So how can I get nice fonts in Linux?

I know what you mean - Vera is a bit fat and blocky.

Enable the ‘Universe’ repository in Synaptic and install msttcorefonts - that will give you the basic fonts you’re accustomed to on Windows, including Arial, TNR and Verdana.

For some reason, my eyes have become accustomed to the old school, non-antialiased X11 base fonts (and their descendents). My window manager must be Adobe Helvetica 8/9pt, and my terminal emulator must be either Misc Fixed 9 or DEC Terminal. For REALLY low resolution monitors, I always use the Artwiz fonts.

Anyway, to enable them:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure fontconfig-config

…and enable the bitmap fonts.

Then, do this:

echo “Xft.dpi: 100” >> ~/.Xresources

Replace 100 with whatever the actual DPI of your monitor is. Finally, go to Synaptic, and look for the various “xfonts-” packages.

Thanks, that sounds like it would help. I wonder if it supports all TT fonts. I’ll give it a go. black rabbit, thank you for the screenshot, but that is the “Linux look” that I’m trying to avoid. Maybe rendering at is a .png makes it look worse, I’m not sure.

Installing the corefonts does fix the problem. Here are how mine look:

Apparently, yes - you can drop any fonts you want into the hidden directory ~/.fonts/ (in your home directory) - and they’ll be available after the next time you log on (or you can force a refresh of the fonts cache by typing sudo fc-cache -fv at the command line)