A monospace font beauty pageant

I got a note the other day from Sam Block about the Tamsyn font, which is a beautiful little arrangement in a nice array of small point sizes.

Tamsyn’s only shortcoming, and one that Sam pointed out, is that it lacks a lot of the line drawing characters that make things like mc fun to look at. Without them … it’s interesting, to say the least.

Looking at that brings up a couple of other fonts that should get attention. Here’s erusfont, which only has two sizes in Arch but is remarkably clear, even at the smallest.

Personally, I’m a strict Terminus fan.

That, to me, is perfect. Of course, the hard part about fonts is that these days, most are intended for use on a graphical desktop. So short of converting them (somehow), most are trapped under Xorg.

For example, here’s Dina.

Very clean and upright. Dina is cute, but I can’t seem to find a font file that will open in a pure framebuffer terminal session. Of course, there are ways around that.

Here’s another one: GohuFont.

Also clean and straight. This next one is ugly as sin to me: FixedSys.

I don’t see the appeal there, unless I’m looking for something as homage to first-generation MacIntoshes. Here’s Monte Carlo though, which is quite nice.

I could learn to love that. This last one comes in about a thousand different flavors and arrangements: Proggy.

That’s just one of the several thousand that you get in Arch when you ask for the one. It’s like a free buffet.

There are some other fonts that are interesting, if you’re working in a text-only arrangement. Inconsolata is quite attractive, the downside for me being the fact that it seems to be unworkable in a terminal. And I get some smearing here and there.

But I think I’ll stick with Terminus for now. If Tamsyn picks up line-drawing characters I might jump ship, but for now this is the best for me. ;)

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15 Responses to “A monospace font beauty pageant”


  1. 1 technologyunit 2011/01/31 at 10:27 AM

    This is sort of related, and perhaps you will have an answer, but In Kubuntu when writing in a post the text decides to do something contrary to system settings. Now I know your main web-browser is textual so you probably don’t see it to often but have you ever had a similar problem? Of Any sort.

    Favorite font: Ubuntu (very origonal)

    thanks

  2. 2 ancientforest 2011/01/31 at 12:54 PM

    I love Terminus, too. Sadly, it does not include some unusual glyphs I require. I’ve actually grown to like:

    -Misc-Fixed-Medium-R-Semicondensed–13-120-75-75-C-60-ISO10646-1

    I’d been curious about Tamsyn. Nice not to have discover for myself that it lacks line art glyphs. Thanks!

  3. 3 aperson 2011/01/31 at 3:24 PM

    I love the droid fonts.

    TIL: Tamsyn

  4. 4 PeterStJ 2011/01/31 at 5:23 PM

    I like Monaco. It is fixed width but still looks too gorgeous for the console, so I use if in my IDE

  5. 5 n2j3 2011/01/31 at 5:43 PM

    I need utf8 in my console fonts so I’ll have to go for Liberation Mono [ https://fedorahosted.org/liberation-fonts/ ]

    A couple of omissions:
    VGA unicode font http://www.inp.nsk.su/~bolkhov/files/fonts/univga/index.html [ugly, but some people love retro]

    and Damien Guard’s Envy A/B/R fonts: http://damieng.com/creative/typography/envy-code-b

  6. 6 Matthew 2011/02/01 at 12:16 AM

    Hmm.. I have been trying to discover how to change console fonts based on your recent post, on my gNewSense (Debian-squeeze-based) system). I found the “consolechars” command which works for changing to pre-loaded fonts, but when trying to use new fonts, the command outputs the error: “read_simple_font(): Bad font file format” Are you using a different command to change fonts? Are there additional steps required to add new fonts?

  7. 8 Ray 2011/02/01 at 2:22 AM

    Just wondering, how old does a computer have to be to be consider old to you?

    • 9 K.Mandla 2011/02/01 at 7:47 AM

      For me? Well, Ray … probably 486 or before. I haven’t even seen a nonworking 486 in years, let alone a working one. I’d love to try to get one working, but I have a feeling it will be a while before I see another. :( Almost sad, that is. …

  8. 10 Scott 2011/02/01 at 3:46 AM

    Hi, thanks for mentioning Tamsyn font. It is still very much in active development. Line drawing characters are coming soon.
    - Scott

  9. 11 Sean 2011/02/01 at 5:03 AM

    Profont is highly recommended. It’s in AUR too.

    http://www.tobias-jung.de/seekingprofont/

  10. 12 scott 2011/02/12 at 4:59 AM

    FYI – I’ve now added line drawing chars to Tamsyn font. Its still what I’d call “beta”, but the feedback has been positive. Next stop: full CP437 and ISO8859-1 coverage, and a version for Mac.


  1. 1 Links 1/2/2011: Android Leaps to #1 Spot; Git 1.7.4, Bangarang 2.0 Released; Fudcon 2011 Reports | Techrights Trackback on 2011/02/02 at 5:38 AM
  2. 2 More vaguely unattached ideas « Motho ke motho ka botho Trackback on 2011/03/03 at 8:50 AM

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