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Better font rendering in Fedora

09 July 2020

I’ve used Fedora for many years now on my laptop, and the default font rendering has served me well there… but only because the laptop has a HiDPI screen which doesn’t need subpixel hinting as much as regular screens. Subpixel hinting, as it turns out, is patented by Microsoft (accursed software patents) so most Linux distributions don’t ship with it enabled, and its absence is painfully obvious on ye olde low-DPI screens especially when viewing light text on dark backgrounds.

Anyway, there’s a helpful COPR repository that fixes all of this. (or more directly,

Enable this repository and install the packages it offers and you’ll get prettier fonts, plus it installs replacements for a bunch of common Microsoft fonts, making web pages appear closer to what they do on Windows (if this is something you don’t want, I suppose you can just not install the fontconfig-font-replacements package.)

Installation instructions (as per the COPR repo page):

  1. Enable COPR repository with packages from this repo: dnf copr enable dawid/better_fonts

  2. Install packages: dnf install fontconfig-enhanced-defaults fontconfig-font-replacements

  3. Log out and log in again or restart computer to see the effect