I am looking to do some font management on my Fedora system. I have installed both Font Manager and Fontmatrix. My goal was to be able to have more fonts installed than I wanted displayed, and to be able to enable/disable fonts (or groups thereof) whenever I wanted to.

Both programs claim to enable or disable fonts. I can't seem to get Fontmatrix to do anything other than be a comprehensive font information source (glyphs, etc.) The enable/disable doesn't appear to work, and the documentation is less than helpful.

I am able to disable/enable fonts in Font Manager. I had to recreate my Gnome settings, though, because I accidentally disabled all fonts, and even re-enabling them did not fix my panel fonts. There wasn't anything I could do, short of removing my local configuration and logging out/in, that would get those fonts back.

So. What exactly do these programs do when they disable a font? And what trashed my panel fonts? I know Monospace was still installed/enabled, and nothing I could do would change the panel information.

Thanks in advance!

  • 1
    When I tried couple of font managers they just do: 1. create symlinks or 2. modify user's .fonts.conf or fonts.conf.d to include font dirs under application management.
    – jirib
    May 28, 2012 at 13:41

1 Answer 1


Fonts are stored in some various, known directories like ~/.fonts and /usr/share/fonts, usually. Any valid font file you put under one of these directories will show up in your applications' select a font kind of dialogs. A font manager application may possibly store font files in a directory that's known to it but not searched for fonts system wide, then create symlinks from these font directories to actual font files. When you enable a font, it may create a symlink, and remove it when you disable. In this wise, it does not need to remove font files from your filesystem and require you to reinstall every time you want them again.

Another approach may be moving font files from and to these font directories. Again, application has a directory known to it but not searched by system for fonts, and move files from this directory to a font directory to enable it and move it to it's own directory to disable it.

I don't have a clear idea about why your fonts get trashed though, but I may have guesses: An error by you, a bug in the program and/or many other possible facts. But I'd suggest managing fonts manually. The thing you have to do is, to move/symlink them to ~/.fonts directory to make them available, and move them away from this directory to make them unavailable. You may put them in some sort of my-fonts directory you choose (i.e. I put mine in ~/Dropbox/my/typeface/), and symlink to them from inside ~/.fonts when you want to enable, and still use those apps to simply view those fonts.

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