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 Feb 4 '12 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 Feb 6 '12 at 4:47
  • If you must know, it's Fedora 16 – polemon Feb 6 '12 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 Feb 6 '12 at 14:23
  • 1
    kernel fonts ? You mean framebuffer fonts ? – daisy Sep 7 '12 at 13:39

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 -) – daniel kullmann Aug 8 '12 at 7:44

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.