I was using Ubuntu and recently moved to Fedora 15 with Gnome 3. I am not at all impressed with the subpixel smoothing and fonts in Fedora. How do I improve the readability and quality?


2 Answers 2


I know this is an old question but I just found a suitable answer.

$ gsettings set org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.xsettings antialiasing rgba 

This renders all fonts so much nicer.

To apply the same to the GDM:

$ xhost +SI:localuser:gdm 
$ sudo -u gdm gsettings set org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.xsettings antialiasing rgba

Screenshot as requested: Comparison between font rendering techniques used by Xserver

Take note that the difference is more vidible on the actual display. Extra reading and explanation.

  • Can you post some screenshots? it would be helpful.
    – sarat
    Commented May 7, 2013 at 4:37
  • @sarat Have a look at alienryderflex.com/sub_pixel for explanation. Gnome defaults to Grayscale when installed. The above commands set rendering to rgba(sub-pixel) which is only effective on LCD displays.
    – beanaroo
    Commented May 7, 2013 at 13:07
  • Thanks for the update. Cheers :) One more question, is RGBA sub-pixel smoothing is applicable for LED too?
    – sarat
    Commented May 8, 2013 at 3:36
  • 1
    I'm not that clued up on LED screens, TBH. I would be lying to you if I said yes or no. :) Update your question if this solution doesn't take care of it.
    – beanaroo
    Commented May 9, 2013 at 2:29

As the cited webpages make clear, this "beautiful font rendering" depends on non-free (patented and propietary) technology, and that is a no-no for Fedora.

  • 1
    It's not possible to include it in Fedora proper, but it is possible to add it separately after the fact. Commented Jan 9, 2013 at 20:17

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