This is actually the first time I actually heard someone say the fonts look better in Ubuntu, usually even on the Ubuntu forums they say fonts look better on OpenSuse.
Me I see no difference between them, both render fonts the same basic way from personal experience…
I guess if I had a plasma screen this would be different.
I haven’t used Ubuntu, so I don’t know what the fonts look like in that, but I have tried Mandriva, Slackware, Solaris, OpenSolaris, CentOS, Kubuntu, Linux MCE, Debian, Linux XP and OpenSUSE.
What I’m using for fonts right now is just what OpenSUSE 10.3 “sets up” by right-clicking on the desktop to get, “Change Desktop Background,” then on the “Themes” tab I clicked on “Large Print,” then on “Apply Font” to apply the font, but sometimes I reduce the size of the fonts from 18 down to 16, when using the 1280 x 1024 resolution the monitor is using, and I also clicked on the “Customize” button in the “Theme” tab, then chose “Aging Gorilla” for the Window border and also chose the pointer and adjusted the size of the pointer.
That’s just one thing I did, but I also made adjustments in the web browser too, and sometimes, if the print looks too small, or too large, I’ll use the CNTRL-+/- way of increasing the font size temporarily.
Well I suppose that’s no help to you, as in Windows I had tried different fonts, but in Linux I haven’t tried too many different fonts.
I did however choose between the “Monochrome,” “Best Shapes,” and also tried a few of those other adjustments, like clicking on the “Details” button in the “Font” tab in the “Appearance Preferences,” but didn’t choose the “Go to Fonts Folder” option yet.
Oh yes, I also tried adjusting the “smoothing” and the “Hinting,” and even the “Dots Per Inch” setting in the “Font Rendering Details” tab after clicking on the “Fonts” tab and the “Details” button in the Appearance Preferences.
Font rendering is to some extent a matter of taste because there’s always a compromise in rendering fonts designed for high-resolution output on low-res screens. Some people prefer one compromise over another, and some are different. Generally speaking, Windows has by far the best font-rendering engine but it’s proprietary of course. The Mac engine is similar to Linux and quite inferior to Windows. As to Linux, it depends on the applications to some extent: OpenOffice has terrible font rendering, Firefox too but it can be tweaked whereas Ooo can’t. The differences between the distros are also significant: Ubuntu is good, but OpenSUSE is better (marginally). More important, however, is the hardware platform: on my Eeepc, OpenOffice looks reasonable, on my high-res desktop it looks just awful. Same file, same fonts.
The point of all this? Windows is far ahead of everyone else thanks to proprietary technology (just compare the same file in MS Office running in Virtualbox with OpenOffice or Abiword in native Linux). Without that magic ingredient, the rest are much the same and a matter of preferences, hardware etc.