Improve fonts in Debian without Infinality

A few weeks ago I showed you how improve the smoothing of fonts in Debian doing use of Infinality, and although the improvement in my case was clearly noticeable, I noticed that the fonts reached a point where they were blurred.


Click on the image and see it in full size. There is another way to improve the anti-aliasing of fonts in Debian without having to install Infinality. The steps are the following:

1- We create a backup of the .fonts.conf file:

$ cp .fonts.conf .fonts.conf.old

2- We open the file .fonts.conf and put inside:
<?xml version="1.0"?>
<!DOCTYPE fontconfig SYSTEM "fonts.dtd">
<match target="font">
<edit mode="assign" name="hinting" >
<match target="font" >
<edit mode="assign" name="autohint" >
<match target="font">
<edit mode="assign" name="hintstyle" >
<match target="font">
<edit mode="assign" name="rgba" >
<match target="font">
<edit mode="assign" name="antialias" >
<match target="font">
<edit mode="assign" name="lcdfilter">

3- We close the session or restart the computer.

That should be enough now. 😉

The content of the article adheres to our principles of editorial ethics. To report an error click here!.

27 comments, leave yours

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *



  1. Responsible for the data: Miguel Ángel Gatón
  2. Purpose of the data: Control SPAM, comment management.
  3. Legitimation: Your consent
  4. Communication of the data: The data will not be communicated to third parties except by legal obligation.
  5. Data storage: Database hosted by Occentus Networks (EU)
  6. Rights: At any time you can limit, recover and delete your information.

  1.   Yoyo said

    So comes that file in CrunchBang where the rendering is excellent.

  2.   KZKG ^ Gaara said

    Notable improvement obtained 🙂

  3.   103 said

    Although according to:

    «The default fonts in Debian derived distributions like Ubuntu and Linux Mint have better looking fonts when compared to default Debian squeeze. A lot of things about the cairo package has changed recently in wheezy and unstable which have brought almost the same font setup to Debian (But not Squeeze or old) but you have to set it up to your liking. You can create a .fonts.conf file to any user account home folder to set this up. Patching and rebuilding of Cairo packages are not needed any more. An Example of .fonts.conf which you can add to your user account home folder without altering anything else »

    I am currently using Droid Sans in Wheeze as the source and the rendering is identical to elementaryOS.

    1.    elav said

      Mmm let me try .. because Aller does look beautiful.

    2.    elav said

      Well no .. Aller looks much better .. 😀

    3.    eliotime3000 said

      Translating what that article says:

      The default fonts in Debian-derived distributions like Ubuntu and Mint have better looking fonts compared to the predefined fonts in Debian Squeeze. A lot about the Cairo package has changed recently in Wheezy and Unstable, which have almost all the font settings for Debian (but not Squeeze and earlier) but you have to adjust it to your preferences. You can create a .fonts.conf file in the folder of any user account to configure. Patching and recompiling the Cairo packages will no longer be necessary. An instance of .fonts.conf which you can add to the home folder of your user account without altering anything else.

      In other words, in Debian Squeeze it is unnecessary to install infinality. Just configuring the .fonts.conf file in the folder of the user account you want to render would be enough.

  4.   Federico A. Valdés Toujague said

    I did it on my Wheezy with Cinnamon or GNOME-Shell and in both environments the lyrics are phenomenal. Now I do not envy the best look of lyrics from other distros. Thanks Elav !!!

  5.   103 said

    I didn't really have to do anything to make my Wheezy render up to par with other distros, I am super happy with the current rendering.

  6.   Federico A. Valdés Toujague said

    Elav: You've definitely improved my eyesight. With the same glasses, I see all the letters - including the small ones - much better.

  7.   moku said

    Thank you very much, the truth did not bother me how it looked before but now just great 🙂

  8.   Edalvz said

    It also works for Archlinux but the .fonts.conf file is renamed to fonts.conf (no period at the beginning only) and should be in ~ / .config / fontconfig

    1.    elav said

      Thank you very much for the tip. 😉

  9.   Alf said

    What if I installed infinality already and do the .fonts.conf modification?

    Is it supposed to be in our $ HOME that we have to create / modify the .fonts.conf?

  10.   Joseph said

    What happens now is that Infinality includes in its latest version the CFF engine as a result of the collaboration of Adobe and Google Freetype version 2.4.12… .. which promised a lot

  11.   Leo said

    Great!!! I didn't install the infinality packages that Elav uploaded because it gave me a hard time. But this I am going to do!
    Thanks for the information!!!!

  12.   Leo said

    Question: at my address. personal .fonts.conf file does not exist (if there is a folder named .fontconfig /)
    But I was thinking of creating it and placing the code there. Is what I am going to do correct or am I wrongly located and it is not in my personal folder where this file is?

    1.    Anonymous said

      Put it directly in your personal folder.

  13.   Anonymous said

    in you*

  14.   Leo said

    Tried. It is not a change that we say, how gross but how it changed, but it shows and how beautiful.
    Thanks for the information!!!

  15.   jony127 said

    Elav, I have made those changes in the fonts.conf but I liked it better as it looked before, can you give me a screenshot of kde system preferences> application appearance> fonts to see the type and size What do you have configured in your system?

    Thank you.

    1.    elav said


      Fonts in KDE

  16.   jony127 said

    ok thanks, I have configured other types of letters, where can I get those that you have and how can I install them? Let's see if with that combination I improve the appearance.

  17.   Samir said

    Thanks, it was very good, but with the Ubuntu source, the only thing that is missing from Ubuntu in Debian.

  18.   superlative said

    Elav on my newly released Wheezy + Xfce just installed Chrome when I open my Gmail and horror, but that letter M is this. So I search and get here. Thanks to your tutorial, in Wheezy quite virgin and without added fonts the visual improvement of the fonts has been brutal.
    Thank you very much

  19.   Pablo Honorato said

    Thanks I didn't know the font Aller, it will replace Roboto on my phone.

    To test the script in debian squeeze (yes, I still use the oldstable).

  20.   lsdany said

    Incredible change! Notable improvement in Java applications.

  21.   Arnold Bric said

    Regards. It works perfectly with Debian Jessie.