I would like to change the system (console) font of my ubuntu server to a custom (downloaded) font. Is this possible?

I've tried to use:

dpkg-reconfigure console-setup

but the only allows me to choose from the default system fonts.

  • See this answer to convert your .pcf to use in the console...
    – jasonwryan
    Commented Feb 26, 2012 at 20:21

1 Answer 1


TTF/OTF/Type1 fonts are vector fonts which describe how to draw characters using mathematics that draw bézier curves. This allows the same description of a character to scale up or down nicely. BDF/PCF/PSF fonts are bitmap fonts meaning they describe a character as pixels in a grid. These tend to look ugly and blocky when scaled up, but are perfect for a text terminal which represent every character in a uniform size and space. The Linux console uses PSF fonts. BDF/PCF fonts allow characters to have variable spacing whereas PSF assumes that all characters take an identical amount of screen real estate such as 8x8, 8x14, or, most often, 8x16 pixels. Because of this, converting a PCF font to PSF can yield an ugly rendition unless there is some manual intervention. Converting a vector font is even more difficult because it must be rasterized into the small space of 8x16 pixels or less. One tool that might help with this task is FontForge.

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