Sunday, December 6, 2009

Improved Subpixel Font Rendering

Subpixel font rendering capabilities in Lenny can easily be improved by applying patches to the source code of libcairo2, libxft2 and libfreetype6. These patches have been around for years, but are not used in your default installation.
I have patched and built Lenny’s debs according the following guide : http://divenvrsk.livejournal.com/628.html. They gave me the same result as the debs from here (1): http://forums.debian.net/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=45315&start=0.
The result is beautiful, but the fonts are a bit to bold ( my taste ). I still had an old, unused install of Ubuntu Gutsy on a different harddisk, the rendering looked a bit different and was my favorite.
I was happy to come across this site (2) : http://bekirserifoglu.net/2009/02/20/subpixel-font-rendering-in-linux/ . These debs gave me the same result !

Results : from left to right : default debs, debs link1, debs link2




You can grab these debs here ;
(1) http://dl.dropbox.com/u/223420/cleartype/debs1.tar.gz
(2) http://dl.dropbox.com/u/223420/cleartype/debs2.tar.gz

I've noticed a difference in the "configure anti-alias settings" box between the two

(1)



Use sub-pixel hinting grayed out !

(2)



Not grayed out !

I use candara size 11 in general ( K-menu - Settings - Appearance & Themes - Fonts, the fontsettings in firefox for rendering the pages are shown below



sudo dpkg-reconfigure fontconfig-config

Choose Native - Always - No

My .fonts.conf

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