This is a simple how-to to help you install Android‘s fonts on your Ubuntu box. Android font‘s made for mobile devices, not only look sharp but are more space-savy than Ubuntu’s default fonts.
The Droid family of fonts consists of Droid Sans, Droid Sans Mono and
Droid Serif. Each contains extensive character set coverage including
Western Europe, Eastern/Central Europe, Baltic, Cyrillic, Greek and
Turkish support. The Droid Sans regular font also includes support for
Simplified and Traditional Chinese, Japanese and Korean support for
the GB2312, Big 5, JIS 0208 and KSC 5601 character sets respectively.
Droid was designed by Ascender’s Steve Matteson to provide
optimal quality and comfort on a mobile handset when rendered in
application menus, web browsers and for other screen text.
- Ascender Press Release, http://www.ascendercorp.com/pr/2007-11-12/
That said I’ve got some news for you:
- Good news: the fonts already packaged in the official repositories !
- Bad news: those are present only in the repository of Jaunty
- Good news: there’s no reason* to not install the Jaunty‘s package on Intrepid !
*that goes only for some packages. Installing Jaunty’s packages on Intrepid will likely break your system. You’re warned not to do this with other packages.
1- Complicate Installation
If you’re on Intrepid, this is going to be difficult. Turn off the telephone and lock your children in the garage before attempting.
- Download the ttf-droid package.
- Double click on it to install it.
If you’re already on Jaunty make sure you have the Universe repositories enabled and:
sudo apt-get install ttf-droid
[ Kudos to Simon Ochsenreither for packaging the fonts!]
2- Enabling the fonts
Go into System->Preferences->Appearance and select your new fonts. My preferences look like this (click the image to enlarge it):
Your done !
Enjoy the difference, and leave me a comment to tell me if you like the fonts. As the first image of the post already shows the difference with Sans, here’s how the Droid-Monospace compares to Monospace.
Better integration with Firefox:
One italian-loco member also suggests to skip the second ste and just create a file named .fonts.conf inside your home folder with the following content:
<?xml version="1.0"?> <!DOCTYPE fontconfig SYSTEM "fonts.dtd"> <!-- ~/.fonts.conf for per-user font configuration --> <fontconfig> <alias> <family>serif</family> <prefer> <family>Droid Serif</family> </prefer> </alias> <alias> <family>sans-serif</family> <prefer> <family>Droid Sans</family> </prefer> </alias> <alias> <family>monospace</family> <prefer> <family>Droid Sans Mono</family> </prefer> </alias> </fontconfig>
Doing that will make your system translate every request to the standard fonts of each type (serif, sans-serif and monospace) into a request for the corresponding Droid font type. This will allow a deeper integration with the applications, changing – for example – the default fonts Firefox uses to render webpages.
I didn’t tried this, as I prefer to use the default fonts on the webpages (mainly because, as a web developer, I need to see the page as most people see it).
In the end
The fonts look very good on my candid theme, although a little KDE-ish (I don’t know why I get this sensation).