There are many choices, Arphic release some fonts under APL for free, most distro use them as default Chinese fonts, but their display effect is inferior to MingLiu -- the default font in Traditinal Chinese Windows system, due to lack of embeded bitmap font, but using MingLiu might have copy right violation. Recently, Taiwan hacker Firefly made a good free font, partly based on Arphic fonts, but have bitmap font embeded, and this part is made by Firefly from scratch. You can get them at:
As for fonts installation, rpm is not the only way, you can just copy the ttf file to a directory listed in the /etc/fonts.conf.
grep \<dir\> /etc/fonts.conf
to check the correct path.
then run fc-cache -fv to update the fonts cache, optionally restart the X session.
Note, the above procedure is for the fontconfig font subsystem, which gtk2 and qt use. Linux have two font subsystems, another is the core X font system, classic application such ass xmms (gtk1), many window manager, etc, use it. To ensure the core X font system can use those newly installed truetype fonts, you should first load the freetype module in X config file, /etc/X11/XFree86.conf for xfree86, /etc/X11/xorg.conf for xorg, check if the following line exists in above files:
then add the directory path in which those fonts exist in to the X config file, for example, you copy the ttf file to /usr/share/fonts/, then add
to the X config file, then cd into the fonts directory, run
mkfontscale && cp fonts.scale fonts.dir
But there is a problem, mkfontscale comes with xorg seems can't recognize Chinese fonts encoding properly, thus generates wrong useless fonts.dir and fonts.scale, which don't contain valid XLFD (X Logical Font Descriptions) for Chinese fonts. I test it for MingLiu and SimSun, it cannot generate BIG5 XLFD for MingLiu and GBK XLFD for SimSun.
Some useful commands to check if font is properly installed:
fc-list : list available fonts for the fontconfig system
xlsfonts : list available fonts for the core X font system