[gobolinux-users] Progress on tiny fonts?

Joel Roth joelz at pobox.com
Tue May 9 10:09:19 NZST 2017

Steve Litt wrote:
> In early April I wrote to say that because of tiny fonts and subtle
> contrasts and other gotchas, I was not able to use Gobo Linux well
> enough to enlarge the fonts and increase the contrasts so that I could
> operate the computer.
> Has there been any progress on this front?

Hi Steve,

I investigated console and X11 fonts, and what the user can
do for a more legible experience.

There are two issues: font size, and colorized output.  The
first is straightforward, for the second I found a simple
workaround under X. 

In the console, I found that none of the provided fonts (in
/usr/share/consolefonts) was large enough for my
screen resolution.  So I installed gobo as a VM and copied
over fonts from another distro.

In particular, I found these fonts useful:


Entering `setfont Uni3-TerminusBold32x16.psf.gz` will change
the console font to this large size.

I tried setting up black chars on white background,
however, the background is gray, not white, so 
contrast is not as good as the white chars on 
black background.

For X, I'm happy with inconsolata, which I took from the Debian
fonts-inconsolata package. I copied


under Debian (actually Devuan) to
/System/Index/share/fonts/opentype/ under Gobo.

To get black chars on a white background, I found I can use
`xterm -fa inconsolata -fs 18 -cm`.

The -cm flag suppresses ANSI color codes, but also defeats 
region highlighting in vim. Selecting text with the mouse
still behaves as normal.

I couldn't figure out how to suppress display of ANSI colors 
under urxvt.

A proper solution would be to suppress *emitting* of ANSI
color sequences. I did less work in this direction.

There are several programs that generate colored text.
Some of this happens through aliases, for example in
/System/Environment/Scripts--016.01 and other files
in /System/Environment.

So removing the aliases to colorized programs would be
another approach. For example, these aliases:

make -> ColorMake
man  -> Pinfo
info -> Pinfo
ls   -> List

Those are some of my preliminary findings. 


Joel Roth

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