To get TrueType fonts working:

  1. They must not have filenames with spaces!

  2. Put them in one of the truetype/[a-z] directories If you put them somewhere else, check that its path is setup in the Files section of /etc/X11/XF86Config

  3. In each and every directory where fonts have been added or deleted, an index must be created:

    ttmkfdir > fonts.scale
  4. Also a fonts.dir file must be created:

  5. Restart X, or investigate how to use "xset +fp" to reread font info

  6. Bonus step… Since most of these fonts get mutliple char set definitions in the fonts.* files, they come up with unusable options in programs (namely Gimp). It turns out that the one that works is the ASCII definition. So I just open up those files (only the fonts.dir seems to need to be modified) and delete everything but this line with:


Then look at what line number you’re on and put that number on a line by itself before any other lines (the first line). Done.

To descend into all the letter directories and make the indices, here’s a bash one-liner:

for X in [a-z]; do cd $X;echo $X;ttmkfdir > fonts.scale;\
mkfontdir; cd /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/truetype; done

Programs Of Interest

ttmkfdir mkfontdir ttf2ufm ← True Type to PostScript Type 1 Font Converter package fc-cache -fv xset fp rehash fc-list