The best terminal font Steckerhalter's ƛ

I have long tried to find the best-looking font to be used with the terminal or my favorite editor Emacs, but none of all the options look as good to me as the traditional misc fixed font from the X.org server.

It is a fixed width font and that comes with some drawbacks as it is not scalable but the quality of the font makes up for that IMO:

misc fixed font

This is the semicondensed variant of the font, which is rather nice. On Debian GNU/Linux the fonts are part of the package xfonts-base and reside in /usr/share/fonts/X11/misc:

$ fc-list :style=SemiCondensed
/usr/share/fonts/X11/misc/6x13.pcf.gz: Fixed:style=SemiCondensed
/usr/share/fonts/X11/misc/6x12.pcf.gz: Fixed:style=SemiCondensed
/usr/share/fonts/X11/misc/6x13-ISO8859-1.pcf.gz: Fixed:style=SemiCondensed
/usr/share/fonts/X11/misc/6x12-ISO8859-1.pcf.gz: Fixed:style=SemiCondensed

To make these fonts available to the applications in recent Debian or Ubuntu distributions, bitmap fonts (as theses fixed width fonts are also called) need to be enabled explicitly. To do that, run:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure fontconfig-config

When asked Enable bitmapped fonts by default?, answer Yes. Leave the other options unchanged.

In Emacs the font can be set thus:

(set-face-font 'default "-Misc-Fixed-normal-normal-semicondensed-*-13-*-*-*-c-60-iso10646-1")

Now if you happen to use Firefox, then it might be possible that some sites like github.com suddenly look quite ugly. That happens because these sites demand the Helvetica font and Firefox now uses the bitmap Helvetica font.

Of course you don’t want to use bitmap fonts in the browser, so to make Firefox (and other X11 applications) replace Helvetica with the similar proportional font TeX Gyre Heros, create or edit the file ~/.config/fontconfig/fonts.conf:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<!DOCTYPE fontconfig SYSTEM "fonts.dtd">
<fontconfig>
  <alias>
    <family>Helvetica</family>
    <prefer>
      <family>TeX Gyre Heros</family>
    </prefer>
  </alias>
</fontconfig>

And make sure the package fonts-texgyre is installed.

Voilà! Now you should be enjoying the best terminal font ever…