I use Debian 7.7.0 and my ~/.Xresources file contains

Xft.antialias: true
Xft.autohint: false
Xft.dpi: 96
Xft.hinting: true
Xft.hintstyle: hintslight
Xft.lcdfilter: lcddefault
Xft.rgba: rgb

(These are the settings I used in Ubuntu 14.04 to maintain the same font rendering when using a simple window manager started from the console.)

The system font is set to DejaVu Sans at ten points and the word "File" is rendered like this:

Font rendering in Debian

With the same settings in Ubuntu 14.04 each letter is one pixel higher:

Font rendering in Ubuntu

Since each letter has the same width in both cases the rendering in Debian looks vertically squashed.

  • 2
    I'm pretty sure those settings don't do anything because they only apply to the old X11 font server, which nobody uses anymore. Also applications don't request a font size of 10 pixels... they request 10 ( or whatever ) point, which is 10/72nds of an inch. That size gets translated to a number of pixels based on the dpi of the screen.
    – psusi
    Commented Oct 31, 2014 at 15:38
  • 1
    @psusi The settings surely affect the font rendering and supports more applications than fontconfig do, at least in my case where I start a window manager from the console. Thanks for teaching be about the units, I thought the requested unit was pixels. Commented Oct 31, 2014 at 17:14

1 Answer 1


Changing Xft.dpi from 96 to 100 solved the problem for me. Now the letters have the same shape as in Ubuntu.

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