I upgraded from Debian stable (Stretch) to testing (Buster) today, which went without a hitch. All applications work fine, except Firefox, which has awful font rendering: text is often hard to read and has artifacts. It gets better with (much) higher zoom values than 100%, but artifacts are always visible. (I'm still running Firefox 55 because I'm missing lots of add-ons in quantum. Many still cannot be implemented in the new system because APIs are todo.)

Screenshot I've found online with the same issue, except this is for Firefox 52:



I figured out the solution by piecing together different sources, but later found that it's nicely described here: http://z-issue.com/wp/ugly-fonts-in-mozilla-firefox-and-thunderbird-under-linux-skia-and-cairo/

Basically, in about:config, change gfx.content.azure.backends and gfx.canvas.azure.backends from skia to cairo. Then restart Firefox.

This bug appears to be related, the target of which is 57. If you don't mind losing some addons, you should try upgrading.

  • Can I upvote myself? More than two years later on a different computer, much newer Firefox version, newer Debian version, the issue suddenly appeared and I knew to look for this answer and it actually worked :D – Luc Mar 31 '20 at 9:03

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