How to get good font rendering in Void Linux

This post lacks an example image because I’ve recovered it from a backup (with only text and no image) and I’m not using Void Linux at the moment. If you follow this guide and decide to share an image, I’ll gladly use it here and give you credit.

This guide assumes you are using Void Linux (you can probably replicate it in other distributions; just check the paths), have Freetype installed and using some sort of Window Manager or Desktop Environment. If you don’t, sudo xi them. After that, fire up a terminal and create a symbolic link, from the following files in /usr/share/fontconfig/conf.avail/, to /etc/fonts/conf.d:

  • 10-hinting-slight.conf
  • 10-scale-bitmap-fonts.conf
  • 10-sub-pixel-rgb.conf
  • 11-lcdfilter-default.conf
  • 20-unhint-small-vera.conf
  • 21-cantarell-hinting.conf
  • 30-metric-aliases.conf
  • 30-urw-aliases.conf
  • 31-cantarell.conf
  • 40-nonlatin.conf
  • 42-luxi-mono.conf
  • 45-latin.conf
  • 49-sansserif.conf
  • 50-user.conf
  • 51-local.conf
  • 57-dejavu-sans-mono.conf
  • 57-dejavu-sans.conf
  • 57-dejavu-serif.conf
  • 60-latin.conf
  • 65-fonts-persian.conf
  • 65-nonlatin.conf
  • 69-unifont.conf
  • 70-no-bitmaps.conf
  • 80-delicious.conf
  • 90-synthetic.conf

I’ve also symlinked these files (again, from /usr/share/fontconfig/conf.avail/) to ~/.config/fontconfig/conf.d/:

  • 10-hinting-slight.conf
  • 10-sub-pixel-rgb.conf
  • 50-user.conf (using it to default Helvetica, Arial and Verdana to Clear Sans)
  • 60-latin.conf
  • 70-no-bitmaps.conf

My .Xresources file:

Xft.autohint: 1
Xft.antialias: 1
Xft.hinting: true
Xft.hintstyle: hintslight
Xft.rgba: rgb
Xft.lcdfilter: lcddefault

Also, I”ve created the /etc/profile.d/freetype2.sh file with this content:

# Subpixel hinting mode can be chosen by setting the right TrueType interpreter
# version. The available settings are:
#
# truetype:interpreter-version=35 # Classic mode (default in 2.6)
# truetype:interpreter-version=38 # Infinality mode
# truetype:interpreter-version=40 # Minimal mode (default in 2.7)
#
# There are more properties that can be set, separated by whitespace. Please
# refer to the FreeType documentation for details.

# Uncomment and configure below

export FREETYPE_PROPERTIES="truetype:interpreter-version=38"

Have an happy GNU Experience 🙂

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