I have a number of console fonts installed in /lib/kbd/consolefonts/ installed.

  1. How do I list them (obviously all I can do, is just look at the filenames, but not at a list at available fonts).
  2. How can I change the console fonts?
  3. How do I make a user manipulable directory for those fonts, should I use /usr/local/lib/consolefonts/?

Now, my kernel accepts the SYSFONT parameter: SYSFONT=latarcyrheb-sun16. I'd like to have a list which fonts my kernel supports and how I can select them (as in, how do I list the kernel compiled fonts, or something).

  • 1
    You can list the available fonts with fc-list, at least. What Linux are you running?
    – user13742
    Commented Feb 4, 2012 at 18:03
  • 1
    Not what I'm looking for. I want to list the fonts that are used in the text console, I don't talk about fonts used in graphical environments. Not to mention boot process.
    – polemon
    Commented Feb 6, 2012 at 4:47
  • If you must know, it's Fedora 16
    – polemon
    Commented Feb 6, 2012 at 5:01
  • 1
    I don't know of an utility to list these other than doing it manually, but to try out a font in a tty, you should use setfont.
    – user13742
    Commented Feb 6, 2012 at 14:23
  • 1
    kernel fonts ? You mean framebuffer fonts ?
    – daisy
    Commented Sep 7, 2012 at 13:39

2 Answers 2


NOTE: Some point of this is not completly stated at LSB. This answer was build on a Debian Squeeze (Debian 6.0.6). Some filepath and filenames may change on other distrib. Editing this answer to help me locate configs file will be welcome!

To answer as your points:

1. How do I list them

(cd /usr/share/consolefonts && find . -type f -name '*.psf.gz'; ) |
    sed 's/.\/\(.*\).psf.gz/\1/' |
    sort |

For InKernel compiled fonts, things are differents. On Debian, running kernel have a copy of his configuration file in /boot:

grep '^CONFIG_FONT' /boot/config-2.6.32-5-amd64 

2. How can I change the console fonts?

Depending on if you want changes to be permanent:

  • For immediates changes (non permanents):

setfont -f Lat15-VGA28x16

  • For permanents changes, have a look at

zless /usr/share/doc/console-setup/README.Debian

vi /etc/default/console-setup

3. should I use /usr/local/lib/consolefonts/?

In fact, yes. You could simply (as root) create a group consolefont, add member to this group and change group's owner of the directory:

addgroup --system consolefont
chown root:consolefont /usr/local/lib/consolefonts
chmod 775 /usr/local/lib/consolefonts
adduser toto consolefont

If you are on debian based linux like Ubuntu you can use consolechars from consoletools package. Something like

$ consolechars -f Arabic-Fixed15.psf.gz

Also there is NAFE http://sourceforge.net/projects/nafe/ for editing console fonts.

setfont didn't work for me back then (I am talking 2008).

  • The package is named console-tools (note the -) Commented Aug 8, 2012 at 7:44

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