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Add terminus console font and enable its unicode variant by default for the system console
Closed, WontfixPublic


From the Terminus description:

Terminus Font is a clean, fixed width bitmap font, designed for long (8 and more hours per day) work with computers.

Enabling Terminus by default in Solus will make the usysconf unicode glyphs not appear as white boxes, which might yield slightly better usability if the user chooses to/is forced to log into a linux virtual terminal on the non-graphical system console (think NVidia driver breakage or large upgrades that might render the DE inoperable for instance).

Home Page:
License: Terminus Font is licensed under the SIL Open Font License, Version 1.1. The license is included as OFL.TXT, and is also available with a FAQ at

Suggested default font configuration in /etc/vconsole.conf:


(Adding this with the "Unbreak Now!" priority per ikey's request after a conversation we had on IRC)

Bonus points for creating a kernel patch for setting the Terminus CP437 font as the default kernel font during boot (I created a patch for this once, but I haven't been able to find it so far -- will keep looking). The source comes with a CRT VGA font version, but it might not be built/included by default? Probably worth checking this out as far as candidates for kernel VGA font patches go...

Event Timeline

ermo created this task.Feb 18 2018, 10:55 AM
Herald removed ikey as the assignee of this task. · View Herald TranscriptFeb 18 2018, 10:55 AM
Herald added a subscriber: ikey.
ermo assigned this task to ikey.Feb 18 2018, 10:56 AM
ermo triaged this task as Unbreak Now! priority.
ermo updated the task description. (Show Details)
ermo updated the task description. (Show Details)Feb 18 2018, 10:59 AM
ermo updated the task description. (Show Details)Feb 18 2018, 11:07 AM
ermo updated the task description. (Show Details)Feb 18 2018, 11:11 AM
ermo added a comment.EditedFeb 18 2018, 5:01 PM

This builds for me, but it likely needs a bit more work?

name	   : font-terminus
version    : 4.46
release    : 1
source     :
    - : 4e29433e5699b76df1f5c9a96f1228cccf8ea8a16791cfef063f2b8506c75bcd
license    : 
    - GPL-2.0
    - OFL-1.1
component  : system.base  # if we end up depending on terminus in initramfs, it belongs here?
summary    : Terminus Font is a clean, fixed width bitmap font.
description: |
    Terminus Font is a clean, fixed width bitmap font, designed for long 
    (8 and more hours per day) work with computers.
    Version 4.46 contains 1291 characters, covers about 120 language sets
    and supports ISO8859-1/2/5/7/9/13/15/16, Paratype-PT154/PT254, KOI8-R/U/E/F,
    Esperanto, many IBM, Windows and Macintosh code pages, as well as
    the IBM VGA, vt100 and xterm pseudographic characters.

    Sizes\: 6x12, 8x14, 8x16, 10x18, 10x20, 11x22, 12x24, 14x28 and 16x32.
    Weights\: normal and bold (except for 6x12), plus CRT VGA-bold for 8x14 and 8x16.
builddeps  :
    - pkgconfig(harfbuzz)
    - bdftopcf
setup	   : |
build	   : |
install    : |
ermo added a comment.EditedFeb 18 2018, 5:09 PM

EDIT: The font configuration stuff already works thanks to usysconf.

th108 added a subscriber: th108.Feb 22 2018, 8:41 PM
ermo claimed this task.Feb 25 2018, 1:19 PM
ermo lowered the priority of this task from Unbreak Now! to Low.

We're not going to get access to the nice unicode glyphs on the console, as it only supports up to 512 glyphs due to how the framebuffer works apparently.

Moving this off of ikey until I've done the groundwork and I feel it's ready for testing as proper patches.

DataDrake raised the priority of this task from Low to Needs Triage.Mar 25 2018, 12:37 AM
DataDrake edited projects, added Package Requests; removed Software.
DataDrake triaged this task as Needs More Info priority.Jul 22 2018, 2:09 PM
DataDrake added a subscriber: DataDrake.

from last time this was requested:

TL;DR The font is broken

Either we try to use the original font (which I have yet to find anything that can use it) or we try to package the TTF version which has broken DPI scaling (96DPI only). I don't see the point of landing the TTF version if people will just end up complaining for DPI settings not 96. If they ever fix it, we can revisit this. For now, I personally recommend the Hack font family.

@ermo, do you think we could at least use the TTF version for wider compatibility?

ermo added a comment.Jul 23 2018, 9:03 AM

The original font can be used as a system console font. It can also be used in ~/.Xresources if people are married to rxvt-unicode for instance.

The 96DPI scaling "issue" for the TTF version is described in and sounds pretty straightforward. I don't think the scaling can be considered "broken" per se since you can arrive at the original sizes in most cases if you can be bothered to do the math.

If I were to package this, I'd probably package both like e.g. fedora does:

$ sudo dnf search terminus
Last metadata expiration check: 0:14:35 ago on 2018-07-23T10:48:00 CEST.
============================ Name Matched: terminus ============================
terminus-fonts.noarch : Clean fixed width font
terminus-fonts-console.noarch : Clean fixed width font (console version)
DataDrake closed this task as Wontfix.Aug 31 2018, 5:39 PM

I'm going to say no to this. Mainly because I don't want to have a repeated occurrence of people not understanding that this font overrides DPI settings.