setfont



SETFONT(8)                   International Support                  SETFONT(8)




NAME

       setfont - load EGA/VGA console screen font


SYNOPSIS

       setfont   [-O  font+umap.orig]  [-o  font.orig]  [-om  cmap.orig]  [-ou
       umap.orig] [-N] [font.new ...]  [-m cmap] [-u umap] [-C console]  [-hH]
       [-v] [-V]


DESCRIPTION

       The  setfont  command  reads a font from the file font.new and loads it
       into the EGA/VGA character generator, and optionally outputs the previ-
       ous  font.  It can also load various mapping tables and output the pre-
       vious versions.

       If no args are given (or only the option -N for some number N), then  a
       default  (8xN)  font is loaded (see below).  One may give several small
       fonts, all containing a Unicode table, and setfont  will  combine  them
       and load the union.  Typical use:

       setfont
              Load a default font.

       setfont drdos8x16
              Load a given font (here the 448-glyph drdos font).

       setfont cybercafe -u cybercafe
              Load  a  given font that does not have a Unicode map and provide
              one explicitly.

       setfont LatArCyrHeb-19 -m 8859-2
              Load a given font (here a 512-glyph font combining several char-
              acter  sets)  and indicate that one’s local character set is ISO
              8859-2.

       Note: if a font has more than 256 glyphs, only 8 out of 16  colors  can
       be  used  simultaneously. It can make console perception worse (loss of
       intensity and even some colors).



FONT FORMATS

       The standard Linux font format is  the  PSF  font.   It  has  a  header
       describing  font  properties like character size, followed by the glyph
       bitmaps, optionally followed by a Unicode mapping table giving the Uni-
       code  value  for each glyph.  Several other (obsolete) font formats are
       recognized.  If the input file has code page format (probably with suf-
       fix  .cp),  containing  three fonts with sizes e.g. 8x8, 8x14 and 8x16,
       then one of the options -8 or -14 or -16 must be used  to  select  one.
       Raw  font  files  are  binary files of size 256*N bytes, containing bit
       images for each of 256 characters, one byte per scan line, and N  bytes
       per  character  (0  < N <= 32).  Most fonts have a width of 8 bits, but
       with the framebuffer device (fb) other widths can be used.



FONT HEIGHT

       The program setfont has no built-in knowledge of VGA video  modes,  but
       just  asks  the kernel to load the character ROM of the video card with
       certain bitmaps. However, since Linux 1.3.1  the  kernel  knows  enough
       about  EGA/VGA  video  modes  to  select a different line distance. The
       default character height will be the number N inferred from the font or
       specified  by option. However, the user can specify a different charac-
       ter height H using the -h option.



CONSOLE MAPS

       Several mappings are involved in the path from user program  output  to
       console  display. If the console is in utf8 mode (see unicode_start(1))
       then the kernel expects that user program output is coded as UTF-8 (see
       utf-8(7)),  and converts that to Unicode (ucs2).  Otherwise, a transla-
       tion table is used from the 8-bit program output to 16-bit Unicode val-
       ues.  Such  a translation table is called a Unicode console map.  There
       are four of them: three built into  the  kernel,  the  fourth  settable
       using  the  -m  option  of setfont.  An escape sequence chooses between
       these four tables; after loading a cmap, setfont will output the escape
       sequence Esc ( K that makes it the active translation.

       Suitable  arguments  for  the -m option are for example 8859-1, 8859-2,
       ..., 8859-15, cp437, ..., cp1250.

       Given the Unicode value of the symbol to be displayed, the kernel finds
       the  right glyph in the font using the Unicode mapping info of the font
       and displays it.

       Old fonts do not have Unicode mapping info, and in order to handle them
       there are direct-to-font maps (also loaded using -m) that give a corre-
       spondence between user bytes and font positions.  The most common  cor-
       respondence  is the one given in the file trivial (where user byte val-
       ues are used directly as font positions).   Other  correspondences  are
       sometimes  preferable  since the PC video hardware expects line drawing
       characters in certain font positions.

       Giving a -m none argument inhibits the loading and activation of a map-
       ping  table.  The previous console map can be saved to a file using the
       -om file option.  These options of setfont render mapscrn(8)  obsolete.
       (However, it may be useful to read that man page.)



UNICODE FONT MAPS

       The correspondence between the glyphs in the font and Unicode values is
       described by a Unicode mapping table.  Many fonts have a  Unicode  map-
       ping  table  included  in  the  font file, and an explicit table can be
       indicated using the -u option. The program setfont  will  load  such  a
       Unicode mapping table, unless a -u none argument is given. The previous
       Unicode mapping table will be saved as part of the saved font file when
       the -O option is used. It can be saved to a separate file using the -ou
       file option.  These options of setfont render loadunimap(8) obsolete.

       The Unicode mapping table should assign  some  glyph  to  the  ‘missing
       character’  value  U+fffd,  otherwise missing characters are not trans-
       lated, giving a usually very confusing result.

       Usually no mapping table is needed, and  a  Unicode  mapping  table  is
       already contained in the font (sometimes this is indicated by the .psfu
       extension), so that most users need not worry about the precise meaning
       and functioning of these mapping tables.

       One may add a Unicode mapping table to a psf font using psfaddtable(1).



OPTIONS

       -h H   Override font height.

       -m file
              Load console map or Unicode console map from file.

       -o file
              Save previous font in file.

       -O file
              Save previous font and Unicode map in file.

       -om file
              Store console map in file.

       -ou file
              Save previous Unicode map in file.

       -u file
              Load Unicode table describing the font from file.

       -C console
              Set the font for the indicated console. (May require  root  per-
              missions.)

       -v     Be verbose.

       -V     Print version and exit.



FILES

       /lib/kbd/consolefonts  is the default font directory.  /lib/kbd/unimaps
       is the default directory for Unicode  maps.   /lib/kbd/consoletrans  is
       the  default directory for screen mappings.  The default font is a file
       default (or default8xN if the -N option was given for  some  number  N)
       perhaps with suitable extension (like .psf).


SEE ALSO

       psfaddtable(1), unicode_start(1), loadunimap(8), utf-8(7), mapscrn(8)



                                  11 Feb 2001                       SETFONT(8)

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