Font smoothing in Debian 6.0 Squeeze like in Ubuntu

Debian LogoDebian is great operating system, but lets face it: fonts are ugly on any Linux distribution except Ubuntu. That's OK if you ask me. Why? When I hear word "Debian" my first association is reliable server environment, and I guess you don't need fine tuned font smoothing on white on black terminal. What if you really like having Debian on your desktop, and you also like having normal eyesight? Debian user Hadret who describes him self as "Atheist, Debian GNU/Linux user and a philologist to be" has Ubuntu patched versions of libxft2 and libcairo2 - the libraries that control how fonts are looking, in his Debian repository. All you need to do to fix you Debian font situation is to add his Debian repository to your sources list and do regular apt-get update procedure. Here are the necessary commands to do all of that:

echo "deb unstable main" | tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list
echo "deb-src unstable main" | tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list
wget -O - | apt-key add -
apt-get update
apt-get dist-upgrade

After you restart you PC you fonts should look much better than before and you should also feel much better about using great Debian operating system.


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9 thoughts on “Font smoothing in Debian 6.0 Squeeze like in Ubuntu

  1. Janx

    Thanks for this how-to. But I could not upgrade libcairo2.
    Calculating upgrade… Done
    The following packages have been kept back:
    The following packages will be upgraded:
    apt apt-listchanges apt-utils dpkg gdm3 gnome-settings-daemon klibc-utils
    libburn4 libgssapi-krb5-2 libgssrpc4 libk5crypto3 libkadm5clnt-mit7
    libkadm5srv-mit7 libkdb5-4 libklibc libkrb5-3 libkrb5support0 libldap-2.4-2
    libmms0 libqt4-dbus libqt4-designer libqt4-network libqt4-opengl
    libqt4-qt3support libqt4-script libqt4-sql libqt4-sql-mysql libqt4-xml
    libqtcore4 libqtgui4 libsmbclient libwbclient0 python-apt python-apt-common
    35 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 1 not upgraded.
    In synaptic:
    Depends: libpixman-1-0 (>=0.18.0) but 0.16.4-1 is to be installed

  2. Marko Author


    Hi Janix, it looks like Hadret PPA is now in somewhat broken state. I will “ask around” but it looks like Hadret needs to backport libpixman >=0.18.0 version because libcairo2 depends on it, but he didn’t do that. That left his repository broken. Will inform you of my findings…

  3. Otten

    Hi! I Don’t find anything for fonts like libcairo2 etc in this repository. Do you know where it? Anybody can upload it?

  4. Jen

    Unfortunately, hadret’s repositories don’t exist anymore. I really wanted to use this! But thanks for putting this up.


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