Cascading Style Sheets: A serif font for Linux

My beau Doc M got a new flatscreen monitor, and has constructed a new linux box that’s worth a post in itself– a quiet very very quiet thing that’s got off-the-shelf parts that evolved from casemods of old (larger, slower fans, and a fancy-dan dual bungee-ribbon contraption to hold the hard disk drive: No sound of disk seeking/writing to echo through the aluminum frame that holds it.) So that means a new install of Linux and all the other attendant tasks to get a new system up and running.

He looked at a couple of my sites and asked, “Why does the type look so crappy?” The crappiness is partly explained by font settings for an LCD screen. But it also involved a trek through his available fonts to see which was a suitable one for a serif font.

I happen to like Georgia as a serif font– much moreso than Times. But Georgia is not available on Linux.

I also happen to really like Hoefler Text (a standard font that ships on MacOS X computers). (If you happen to have Hoefler Text, you’ll see this paragraph rendered in that typeface. The really cool part is the italic typeface. Otherwise, you get serif.)

I went to see what I had for the font settings for this site:

font-family: "Hoefler Text", Georgia, "Times New Roman", Times, serif;

The first two are not available on Linux. And the Times version just was kinda ugly. So we went looking at some of the standard installed fonts. DejaVu Serif was a nice one (here’s a page containing images from the whole DejaVu family– serif is at the bottom. The italic is an oblique (the main text is slanted, versus having a separate italic font).

So for Doc M’s benefit — and for other Linux based surfers to that site, I added DejaVu serif. I placed it before the times variations, as the font-family property takes the listed items in order.

font-family: "Hoefler Text", Georgia, "DejaVu Serif", "Times New Roman", Times, serif;

BTW, here’s more on the development of open source fonts and the DejaVu family.

UPDATE: Ralph Brandi, in comments, posted a link to a page explaining how to install Microsoft’s core TrueType fonts on Linux. One more thing for you to do to get that system up and running, Doc M! 😉 Still, I’m glad to learn a bit more about Fonts for Linux.

3 responses to “Cascading Style Sheets: A serif font for Linux”

  1. dan

    Thank you, Susan (and Doc!)…

  2. ralph
  3. Susan A. Kitchens

    Very handy, Ralph, Thanks! I’ll call this out in the body of the post. After all, if Doc M is in a system-building state of mind, why not fonts, too?