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Fonts are a core part of the system and are necessary in order to represent text on a display.

Font installation in Gentoo is handled much like other distributions. It can be as easy as copying the font file into the proper directory. Other methods, such as fontconfig are also possible.

Home directory

When installing fonts on a local basis, each user can create a .local/share/fonts directory in their home directory. This directory can then be filled with font files:

user $mkdir -p ~/.local/share/fonts
user $cp ~/Downloads/Inconsolata.otf ~/.local/share/fonts
Historically, the ~/.fonts directory was used to store fonts on a per-user basis. The modern equivalent is ~/.local/share/fonts.

Check in a few applications to see if the newly copied font has been made available. A terminal emulator or an office program should work nicely for this purpose.

Globally available

System administrators (those with root privileges) can copy fonts into the system's /usr/share/fonts directory. This will make fonts available to any user on the system.

root #cp /home/larry/Downloads/Inconsolata.otf /usr/share/fonts

Console font


In order to use a specific font in the console, set the consolefont variable in /etc/conf.d/consolefont to the name of a file found in /usr/share/consolefonts/ (without the .psfu.gz suffix).

FILE /etc/conf.d/consolefontSetting the console font

Next, verify that the consolefont service is in the boot runlevel:

root #rc-update -v show | grep consolefont

If no runlevel is displayed for consolefont, then add it to the proper level:

root #rc-update add consolefont boot

If you need bigger fonts and more modern looking fonts for HD screens you should install media-fonts/terminus-font. It has fonts with sizes from 12 to 32 pixels.

GUI font

To configure fonts for use in graphical applications see the Fontconfig article.

Font installation to support viewing more scripts

Emoji and symbols

root #emerge --ask media-fonts/noto-emoji

Currently available through the GURU overlay:

root #emerge --ask media-fonts/symbola

Non-Latin scripts

Gentoo doesn't install many fonts by default so some characters in some languages may look like squares. If full support of viewing all languages and characters is needed, install the fonts for the following languages.


root #emerge --ask media-fonts/farsi-fonts


root #emerge --ask media-fonts/alee-fonts


root #emerge --ask media-fonts/lohit-tamil


root #emerge --ask media-fonts/thaifonts-scalable


root #emerge --ask media-fonts/lohit-bengali


root #emerge --ask media-fonts/mikachan-font-ttf

Additional package considerations

Fonts-Meta (Meta package for fonts to cover most needs)

root #emerge --ask media-fonts/fonts-meta

Microsoft's TrueType core fonts

root #emerge --ask media-fonts/corefonts

See also

External resources