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C.4. Fonts

Red Hat Enterprise Linux uses Fontconfig subsystem to manage and display fonts under the X Window System. It simplifies font management and provides advanced display features, such as anti-aliasing. This system is used automatically for applications programmed using the Qt 3 or GTK+ 2 graphical toolkits, or their newer versions.
The Fontconfig font subsystem allows applications to directly access fonts on the system and use the X FreeType interface library (Xft) or other rendering mechanisms to render Fontconfig fonts with advanced features such as anti-aliasing. Graphical applications can use the Xft library with Fontconfig to draw text to the screen.


Fontconfig uses the /etc/fonts/fonts.conf configuration file, which should not be edited by hand.


Any system where the user expects to run remote X applications needs to have the fonts group installed. This can be done by selecting the group in the installer, and also by running the yum groupinstall fonts command after installation.

C.4.1. Adding Fonts to Fontconfig

Adding new fonts to the Fontconfig subsystem is a straightforward process:
  1. To add fonts for an individual user, copy the new fonts into the .fonts/ directory in the user's home directory.
    To add fonts system-wide, copy the new fonts into the /usr/share/fonts/ directory. It is a good idea to create a new subdirectory, such as local/ or similar, to help distinguish between user-installed and default fonts.
  2. Run the fc-cache command as root to update the font information cache:
    fc-cache <path-to-font-directory>
    In this command, replace <path-to-font-directory> with the directory containing the new fonts (either /usr/share/fonts/local/ or /home/<user>/.fonts/).


Individual users may also install fonts interactively, by typing fonts:/// into the Nautilus address bar, and dragging the new font files there.