Goal: Install Font Manually

I have been in a few years in my comfort zone with Arch Linux. Every font, can be installed directly using AUR. Now, that I move on to Slackware, I have to rethink about the way I install fonts. From provided by packages, into manual install.

This guidance applied for most distribution.

Table of Content

1: Common Example

From Empty Folder

My new working path is, of course ~/.local/share/fonts, instead of deprecated ~/.fonts. This time I arrange to a few subdirectory:

% cd ~/.local/share/fonts

% tree -d
├── google
├── i18n
├── icons
└── inkscape

Downloading from git

For most fonts, I prefer to download using browser. But for system font, that I will be using in desktop, I prefer git clone to make sure the font downloaded right.

% mkdir build
% cd build

% git clone

% git clone

% git clone

And copy-paste later on.

Copy and Paste

Copy paste manually.

% cd ~/.local/share/fonts/icons
% cp ~/build/Font-Awesome/fonts/fontawesome-webfont.ttf .

The same method for other directory, as well.

% cd ~/.local/share/fonts/i18n
% cp ~/build/UnnamedFukidashi/takao-fonts-ttf/*.ttf .

Now you can check using fc-list

% fc-cache
% fc-list | grep -i some
/home/epsi/.local/share/fonts/icons/fontawesome-webfont.ttf: FontAwesome:style=Regular

Font: fc-cache fc-list

Note that by the time this article is being written, FontAwesome is still having 4.x series version. With 5.x series the font is in web-fonts-with-css/webfonts/ directory.

2: True Type Font

Installing TTF is easy, as example above.

Now you should see the font in some application:


Truetype Font: Libreoffice


Truetype Font: Inkscape


% echo -e ' \uf015' | lemonbar -g "640x24+0+0" -u 2 \
-B '#aaffffff' -F '#ff000000' -p -f "FontAwesome"

Truetype Font: Lemonbar

XFCE4 Terminal

I have to logout, before I can show this in my zsh.

% echo -e '\uf015' 

Truetype Font: XFCE4-Terminal

3: Bitmap Font

Consider have a look at siji as our example.

There are a few more step required for bitmap fonts.

  • mkfontdir, and mkfontscale

  • xset fp+


As you might already notice. XLFD using exotic notation.


Copy and Paste

Copy paste manually.

% mkdir ~/.local/share/fonts/misc
% cd ~/.local/share/fonts/icons
% cp ~/build/siji/pcf/siji.pcf .

XLFD: Siji Copy

Make Font

You need other tools, it is mkfontdir and mkfontscale.

% mkfontdir

% mkfontscale

% ls
fonts.dir  fonts.scale  siji.pcf

% cat fonts.dir
siji.pcf -wuncon-siji-medium-r-normal--10-100-75-75-c-80-iso10646-1

% cat fonts.scale

XLFD: mkfontdir mkfontscale

Display Font

Now you can check using xfd

% xfd -fa siji


Font Cache

% fc-cache -f -v
/home/epsi/.local/share/fonts/misc: skipping, existing cache is valid: 1 fonts, 0 dirs

% fc-list | grep siji
/home/epsi/.local/share/fonts/misc/siji.pcf: Siji:style=Regular

Add Font Path

This step, you should do, or the font won’t shown up in Lemonbar.

% xset fp+ ~/.local/share/fonts/misc

XLFD: Siji Set X Font Path

Select Font

Using XLFD

% xfontsel

XLFD: Getting XLFD with xfontsel


% echo -e ' \ue018' | lemonbar \
  -g "640x24+0+0" -u 2 -B '#aaffffff' -F '#ff000000' -p \
  -f "-wuncon-siji-medium-r-normal--10-100-75-75-c-80-iso10646-1"

XLFD: Siji at Lemonbar

4: System Wide

Sometimes we need to use the font in system wide, using /usr/share/fonts.

Copy and Paste

% cd /usr/share/fonts/misc

% sudo cp ~/.local/share/fonts/misc/siji.pcf .

% sudo mkfontdir
% sudo mkfontscale

% fc-cache
% fc-list | grep siji
/home/epsi/.local/share/fonts/misc/siji.pcf: Siji:style=Regular
/usr/share/fonts/misc/siji.pcf: Siji:style=Regular

You need to logout and relogin in order to use this bitmap font.

Font Tools

You can also browse a character in a font with either of these program,

  • xffd,

  • unibrow, or

  • gucharmap.

5: Font to Use

I also ask some friends, in @dotfiles_id telegram group, about their favorites font. I would like to summarize here:

Fonts @ dotfiles_id

Icon Font/ Glyph Bar

Bar (Text)

  • Terminus

  • Roboto


  • Carlito (Calibri substitution)

  • Caladea (Cambria substitution)

Design (Inkscape)

  • Oswald (Google Font)

  • Raleway (Google Font)


  • Default: arial, helvetica, sans


Text Editor (Coding)

  • Hack, Ubuntu Mono, Fira Code

  • Monaco, Meslo


It works.

Thank you for reading and visiting.