Terminus console font - howto install

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Posts: 187
Joined: 09 Apr 2019, 03:27
Distribution: Porteus 5.0 RC1 XFCE
Location: Los Angeles

Terminus console font - howto install

Post#1 by nanZor » 16 Apr 2019, 10:26

I'm a big fan of the Terminus console font - mostly for "virtual terminals", but usable in X too. I'll concentrate on how to set it up for a nice console font....

Why? I totally agree with Porteus' way of dealing with the screen - set it to full resolution, and let the user dial it back with fonts. The reason for terminus fonts is that they are ideal for *long term* screen staring without straining your eyes. Obviously these are monospaced fonts more or less.

Sure, if one wants a larger font for say Porteus' text-mode only option with todays larger resolution screens, the quick hack is to just reboot with the cheatcode


in the boot stanza. But those fonts are just not good for long-term use. Let's take advantage of some major clarity with larger Terminus fonts!

1) Use usm to download terminus. The package I got was


2) You can manually activate it of course, but I like it so much that I moved it into the modules area. I copied that terminus xzm file from /tmp to

<path/to/your/usb> /porteus/base/

directory where the other major xzm's live. In my case, the path was /mnt/sdb1/porteus/base/

3) Here we go. I was lazy and just rebooted. Get into a virtual-terminal with CTRL-ALT-F2 (note: ctrl-alt-f7 gets you back to full gui)

4) As root / toor (or SU), run the nifty Slackware utility


5) Follow the directions to play around. Scroll to the newly added ter*.psf.gz fonts and pick one. Type a little bit, and if you LIKE it, hit 1. If you DON'T like it, and want to choose another, hit 2. Patrick V did a nifty util with setconsolefont. (It's late, I may have gotten 1 and 2 backwards.)

6) You can log out as root, and log back in as guest if you like. Your chosen font will remain.

Note: Because I have a large resolution screen, where fonts are pretty dinky to begin with, I usually end up with either 28 or 32 size fonts. In my case, I scrolled and chose


In the /usr/share/kbd/consolefonts directory, you'll find some interesting readme's, and some usually funky fonts other than terminus that are too small, or a joke like the Sun fonts. Imagine the Sun fonts on a $50K JAWS computer back in the day. Ugh.

Although it is in the readme file, a quick notation on normal and bold:

ter-*n = normal fonts
ter-*b = bold fonts
ter-*f = framebuffer Bold

Of course, one may choose a codepage more relative to their location, like KOI Cyrillic fonts for example. I'll leave you to choose the right codepages and whatnot. Here is the location of the Terminus font project itself:


More advanced users that are worried about space, might want to compile the source themselves, and run the config before compiling to include or reject specific codepages they are/aren't interested in. For me, the standard terminus xzm that I downloaded does just fine.

And of course, one will probably want to make sure they have a save.dat or some other form or persistence.

If you don't want to go through the nifty slackware setconsolefont utility, and know what you want, you could just set it manually (as root first) with something like this:

setfont -v ter-232b.psf.gz

So there you go. For me, having a nice clean, legible, and long-term usage console font is ideal for those times when I just need to get back to the Unix garden .... um, what it was like with no distractions. I'm no luddite, and enjoy a great gui like everyone else, but sometimes the lack of distraction, and simple user interface (NO interface really) means I have to *create / learn*, rather than consume, to have fun.

<mic drop!>
That's a UNIX book - cool. -Garth

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