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In search of perfect font rendering on Linux

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One of the greatest challenges I’ve had with Linux is getting text to render simultaneously attractively and readably. The good news is, after a lot of tinkering, I think I’ve got it more or less down pat. What follows are some basic instructions as to what I did, although I suggest reading and altering to suit your needs as opposed to outright copying so as to ensure the results you seek.

First, a brief definition of what I sought: Antialiased fonts are relatively easy to achieve on Linux in recent times thanks to considerable effort by its advocates. The trick for me was to strike a balance between the smooth, sleek look of Mac OSX’s “antialias the hell out of everything” approach and Microsoft’s cleartype, which produces (in my opinion) clearer and more legible text at frequently-used font sizes (at my screen’s resolution, anyway) but less appealing font shapes at higher resolutions, and fonts get obliterated at lower resolutions.

If you’re interested in improving font rendering in Linux and seeing some examples, read on.

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