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
       previous font.  It can also load various mapping tables and output the
       previous 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
              character 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
       Unicode value for each glyph.  Several other (obsolete) font formats
       are recognized.  If the input file has code page format (probably with
       suffix .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
       character 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
       translation table is used from the 8-bit program output to 16-bit
       Unicode values. 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
       correspondence between user bytes and font positions.  The most common
       correspondence is the one given in the file trivial (where user byte
       values 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
       mapping 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
       mapping 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
       translated, 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
              permissions.)

       -v     Be verbose.

       -V     Print version and exit.


NOTE
       PC video hardware allows one to use the "intensity" bit either to
       indicate brightness, or to address 512 (instead of 256) glyphs in the
       font. So, if the font has more than 256 glyphs, the console will be
       reduced to 8 (instead of 16) colors.


FILES
       /usr/share/kbd/consolefonts is the default font directory.
       /usr/share/kbd/unimaps is the default directory for Unicode maps.
       /usr/share/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)