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Author Topic: Instant bigger terminal fonts howto  (Read 1614 times)

Offline PDP-8

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Instant bigger terminal fonts howto
« on: July 14, 2019, 02:46:51 PM »
Who this is for:
New users who have burned / booted dCore for the first time.

Depending on how the graphics drivers handle your monitor, you may find yourself in full-resolution, where with modern monitors things may just be a bit *too* small.  Like my 1920x1080 native res monitor.

Dcore looks just fine, but for initial setup, the terminal fonts may just be a tad too small, leading to mistakes with dashes and underscores when you edit configuration text files if you are not careful.

The instant fix - and you don't even have to be online:

Dcore provides 3 terminals you can use

aterm
uxterm
xterm

They are configured to taste in your hidden .Xdefaults file.  But if you aren't already knowledgeable on how to configure those, like which ones support only bitmap fonts vs true-type fonts, let's get up and running with some larg(er) fonts right off the bat.

From either of the 3 terminal choices, lets force xterm to use the default TTF font by supplying it with a faulty fontname!

Code: [Select]
xterm -fa bigterm &
There is no font titled "bigterm"!  But called improperly like this, it will use a larger TTF font.

Now at least you may be able to avoid common errors like with underscores and dashes.  Turn that command into an executable shell script if you like until you learn how to properly configure your desired terminal.

Of course one can go online and get what they like.  This is just a solution for an out-of-the-box experience with the stock install.

Want to go just a bit further?

Make it look a bit nicer by adding some xft options in your hidden .Xdefaults file.  By convention, we use a CAPITAL X at the beginning of the line.

Code: [Select]
Xft.antialias: true
Xft.hinting: true
Xft.hintstyle: hintfull
Xft.lcdfilter: lcdlegacy
Xft.rgba: rgb

You can look up what all these options do and apply different values to your liking.  This will at least demonstrate how good a terminal inside a stock install of dCore can look.

« Last Edit: July 14, 2019, 03:02:23 PM by PDP-8 »
That's a UNIX book! - cool  -- Garth

Offline PDP-8

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Re: Instant bigger terminal fonts howto
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2020, 07:18:33 PM »
Well, this quickie fallback hack may no longer work with a bone-stock install of dCorePlus (although I'm currently testing an rc).

Xterm - the standard mouse CTRL-Right-Click menus come up, but just gray out your choice, and fail.

Simple things like
Code: [Select]
aterm -fn 10x20 &
complain about locales not being supported in the c library, and a perusal of xset -q show a valid fontpath.  xlsfonts show the aliases available.  So I'm banging around with locales, exporting variables, even the global LC_ALL but so far, no joy.

I'll keep working at it to find out why this is.  Part of the fun actually.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2020, 07:21:29 PM by PDP-8 »
That's a UNIX book! - cool  -- Garth

Offline PDP-8

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[SOLVED !] Re: Instant bigger terminal fonts howto
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2020, 09:46:28 PM »
SOLVED!

Don't use Aterm.
Use Uxterm or Xterm instead.

ctrl-rightclick to bring up menu

Choose TrueType Fonts  < --- that was the key, do this FIRST.

Change font-size to your liking.

This isn't a dig on Aterm or being an xterm fanboy.  Just a temporary solution to allow one to more easily edit config files if they have to do it manually for whatever reason and have a hard time seeing it possibly due to hardware misconfiguration.

More of an emergency measure, rather than being a permanent terminal environment.
That's a UNIX book! - cool  -- Garth

Offline nick65go

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Re: Instant bigger terminal fonts howto
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2020, 01:34:32 AM »
@PDP-8: for me, these do not sound as good new for linux evolution, if basic things become convoluted to setup. Such as settings fonts from commnad line, or (as you said in another post) some appls to depend on init system (craizness).

Offline PDP-8

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Re: Instant bigger terminal fonts howto
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2020, 02:45:10 AM »
This was mostly intended for newbies to get over the hump to allow them to turn the wrenches more easily.

The proper thing to do is modify your .Xdefaults, find out which xterm properties you like and implement them.  It's more of a once-you-know, you know.  Or at least write down. :)

Another very simple way do it, is to pass it from the commandline - even in Aterm.  Let's use those TTF fonts:

Code: [Select]
xterm -fa 'Monospace' -fs 12 &
-fa for Font, and -fs for fontsize.  Single-quotes surround the fontname.   One may want to maximize the xterm or adjust the window.

It's just sometimes easier to remember that in an Xterm, you can usually ctrl - rightclick the menu and get to something fast temporarily.

Or run fc-list, and see all the mono-spaced fonts ideal for use in a terminal and play with the ttf fonts that way and use that to help them decide on what to put into their .Xdefaults.

Doing it this way help grow some gray-tufts!  They are on their way! :)
That's a UNIX book! - cool  -- Garth

Offline PDP-8

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Re: Instant bigger terminal fonts howto
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2020, 04:59:19 PM »
A nice quick way to take advantage of the TTF fonts included in dCore with xterm without having to be a total propeller-head:

http://futurile.net/2016/06/14/xterm-setup-and-truetype-font-configuration/

Pretty handy tips on how to make your font sizes in the ctrl-rightClick menu the size you want in addition to a plethora of other things.

Plenty of xterm tutorials out there.  I found this one especially fast to get up and running into a pleasing environment, leaving one to want to do more research to truly make it their own.
That's a UNIX book! - cool  -- Garth