A VGA font in a terminal emulator
How’d I do it? It was quite a while ago and I can’t remember, I can’t recall. I’m trying to reconstruct it…
I grew up in the IBM compatible, DOS era. That VGA font that you got by default in DOS still, to this day, looks ‘right’ to me on a terminal screen, even after years of using Linux and Mac OS X and what not. I know it is not a great font in numerous ways, but I am so familiar I don’t even see it. It’s invisible, like a good writing tool should be. So I wanted to use it in my terminal window on Debian. It’s not very hard, maybe. I can’t remember if these were all the things I needed to do…
Mrxvt.sl: 65535 MRxvt.ps: true Mrxvt.xft: 1 Mrxvt.xftFont: Perfect DOS VGA 437 Win Mrxvt.xftSize: 16 Mrxvt.xftAntialias: 1 Mrxvt.saveLines: 10000
And I have aliased the command mrxvt to this string:
alias mrxvt='mrxvt-full -fade 50 -ps -title " " -tn rxvt'
So to get the VGA font, I first went and found a good X windows font, called “Perfect DOS VGA 437 Win”, which is a ttf (TrueType font) when I unzip the archive. I put the file (called Perfect_DOS_VGA_437_Win.ttf) in a subdirectory of my .fonts directory
1 create ~/.fonts/perfect
2 copy files into it
3 mkfontdir ~/.fonts/perfect/
4 xset fp+ /home/goossens/.fonts/perfect/
5 xset fp rehash
I put it under ‘perfect’, and ran fc-cache to update the list of available fonts:
$ ls ~/.fonts/perfect Perfect_DOS_VGA_437_Win.ttf $ fc-cache -f -v .fonts
And, on a modern Linux system, that seems to be all that is required. Except I do notice that my .fonts.conf file looks like this (also serves as an example of what the font looks like in action):
Notice that the line at the end lists my local ~/.fonts directory? I think that might be important, but like I said it was a long time ago and I’m not sure.
So there you have it. Finding Perfect_DOS_VGA_437_Win.ttf somewhere on the web and putting it in your ~/.fonts directory and making sure that that directory is listed in your ~/.fonts.conf file and then changing the font selection line in the config file for whichever terminal emulator you are using might or might not let you use a font you don’t like.