Missing a font

Mișu Moldovan dumol at xfce.org
Thu Apr 23 13:34:06 CEST 2015

On Tue, 21 Apr 2015 09:36:20 +0200 Petter Adsen wrote:
> AFAIK, all distros reserve /usr/local for local modifications. It has
> always been done this way on *nix systems. Your package manager
> maintains the /usr tree, except /usr/local, and can/will thus
> overwrite or remove changes you make on updates. Modifications you make
> should either go in there or under your home directory.
> ~/.local/share/fonts would probably work, if you are only setting it up
> for yourself.

I am using /usr/local for local modifications too, but this is a PITA when sync'ing your local modification between different workstations. It bit me when I first started to sync /usr/local/ to an older 32bit x86 machine and had to make sure I have two versions for my binaries in /usr/local/bin, one for the 32bit machine and one for the 64bit machine. Also, not all Unix-like systems reserve /usr/local for the user… In FreeBSD it is used for all files belonging to installed packages and ports AFAIK. So I am planning to ditch using /usr/local/ for my scripts, binaries and related files altogether.

The best solution in this case for installing a third-party font would be to drop it in ~/.fonts. However, to use a replacement that is metrically-equivalent to Helvetica, I think there's no reason to go as far as downloading questionable files off the web. First of all because it probably breaks its license terms. But also because it can be a security issue, as a carefully constructed binary font may exploit known or unknown security holes in FreeType, Fontconfig, X.org or even video drivers. IIRC Nvidia drivers were at one time exploitable through malicious fonts.

Installing the Liberation fonts, available for practically all Linux distros, would have solved the issue too, I think. Fontconfig has pre-defined aliases for the Liberation Sans fonts, matching them for Helvetica fonts and the like.

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