Monday, 13 December 2010

Ugly Opera Fonts Under Linux - How To Fix It

The latest incarnation of the Opera Browser, version 11 is currently in Beta (at time of writing) and so far I have been really impressed with it. I may finally have found an alternative to the excellent, but increasingly sluggish FireFox. However, despite it's speed, overall elegant looks and ease of use the first thing I noticed upon installing it was how ugly most of the fonts looked (something that had previously been fine in earlier 10 releases) and no matter how much tweaking I made to my .fonts.conf file I couldn't improve things. I then discovered that during the 10.x cycle Opera switched from using .fonts.conf to xrdb. Adding the following into the .Xdefaults file in my home directory and re-starting X solved the problem and now the fonts look great again :

Xft.antialias: 1
Xft.autohint: 1
Xft.hinting: 1
Xft.hintstyle: hintslight
Xft.rgba: none

If you find after doing the above the fonts still look ugly, it may be that .Xdefaults on your system is not being read or honored. So, add xrdb -override .Xdefaults to your .bashrc script and try again! As you can see from the screen shots below - the fonts look much better after the config change.