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Just annotations of little "how to's", so I know I can find how to do something I've already done when I need to do it again, in case I don't remember anymore, which is not unlikely. Hopefully they can be useful to others, but I can't guarantee that it will work, or that it won't even make things worse.
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Improving/fixing font rendering on Debian's web browsers

Posted 06-08-2012 at 03:59 PM by the dsc

Warning: I don't know the whole story about this (no warranties, you're on your own if you decided to follow these instructions), but after some recent upgrades my Debian install (testing/unstable) had awful font rendering on web browsers (everything nice everywhere else somehow). I like to "force" freesans (which is very somooth and anti-aliased) on almost everything on the web, and it was looking like some pixelated Times New Roman or Courier New.

I went googling for solutions and stumbled on some stuff. First I tried upgrading/downgrading some packages, apparently* with no effect whatsoever. What did seem to solve it was to download some config files and use those instead of the ones I had:

 # wget
Backup old configuration files then extract new ones into /etc/fonts.

# for i in `ls /etc/fonts/*.conf`; do cp $i $i.bak; done
# tar xvjpf fontconfig.tbz -C /etc/fonts/
Clean up.

# rm fontconfig.tbz
Then log out of the session and log in again.

I saw it in this blog post:

Now I have freesans nicely rendered everywhere on the web again, to the disgrace of the web-designers who want to impose different fonts on me.

* Actually it may have worked, but I wouldn't know as I tried to restart just the web browser rather than the entire user session. So perhaps messing with packages was what really solved it for me, or was part of the solution. At very least it didn't seem to have created more trouble so far. If I recall I downgraded libcairo2, and upgraded libfontconfig, fontconfig and fontconfig-config. But after that I did what I saw on this blog, which may have undone one of these steps (like replacing fontconfig-config, I guess).
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