subpixel hinting in freetype2

Hi openSUSE Users and Devs,

as some of the patents are expired (FreeType and Patents) now I would like to know when full subpixel hinting in freetype2 get enabled so that we have nice font smoothing (like Ubuntu). I’m aware that at the moment someone have to add an additonal repo (SubpixelHinting - openSUSE Community Wiki) to get the same nice font smoothing.

Any feedback or a plan what we can expect in near future?

Here’s what I did in a little experiment.

I added the repo for my openSUSE version, then opened the software manager, and did a 'Switch system packages to…" on that repo. I have the impression that the fonts are a bit smoother than before…but I did not make any before/after screenshots.

For the rest of your post: we need far more info to be able to provide proper help on this matter, like openSUSE version, desktop used etc.

You may want to consider
openSUSE starter: Step 4. Get yer subpixel hinted fonts.

Cheers Carl. It’s exactly what I did, except that I used another repo. This guy’s repo btw atm lacks a couple of packages, fontconfig-feature-subpixel-hinting and freetype2-feature-subpixel-hinting, these were also suggested on the link you gave.

This was a nice day, diving into this matter a bit on a rainy afternoon. Result: improved font display (they were very OK until now, but still) in some apps, amazing difference in others. The packages from the repo I used - Index of /subpixel/ - $OPENSUSE_VERSION/ contain the packages to make the whole thing complete.

This evening I asked one of the people from the organization I work for if she noticed anything. “Your fonts look a lot better than mine” she replied, so it’s not my old eyes.

@Knurpht + caf4926: I’m aware of all 3rd party repos which handle this task and I even roll my own packages to get the same subpixel hinting but my question is when get this kind of advanced subpixel hinting enabled as default in openSUSE? Users do this task since a long time - myself is doing this since release 11.3. In terminals (vim) it’s not a problem but in case you do some development in Eclipse or check sites in different browsers it’s good for someone’s eyes if you have to work a lot of hours on big screens.

FYI: freetype2-feature-subpixel-hinting
Is a dummy package, which has been removed from the repo I linked to. Could be confusing.

It’s not enabled by default (FP) because of some licensing issues I guess.

Now apparently that licensing issue is solved (because the patents expired). It would be real nice if it were enabled (or whatever patches included) for 12.1…

That’s the reason why I have posted - maybe SUSE or the openSUSE project can reconsider it’s decison concerning full subpixel hinting - something eye candy for the next release :slight_smile:

Advice: post a feature request, see openSUSE:Openfate documentation - openSUSE

Thank you and already done -

There is also a request here - hopefully we will get a response. I have linked the two requests together.

One of the best kept secrets, apparently; get perfect text clarity in openSuse by:

  1. Adding “” to your repo list; call it “Muz_Pix” and, BTW, change “openSUSE_11.4” to whatever version you are using.

  2. Do a Software Management update via Yast, select the Muz repo, and click on “Switch system packages to the versions in this repository”, and accept the changes, update.

  3. Change your Anti-aliasing settings in Appearance-Fonts to “enabled”, and in the “configure” dialogue make sure sub-pixel rendering is enabled. For “Hinting Style” I use “slight”, but this is a matter of personal preference, and also based on monitor and resolution … experiment at will.

You won’t see full impact unless you have rebooted, I’ve found.


Better to use the community repository;

Cheers Malcolm °¿° (Linux Counter #276890)
openSUSE 11.4 (x86_64) Kernel
up 8 days 0:18, 3 users, load average: 0.34, 0.33, 0.27
GPU GeForce 8600 GTS Silent - Driver Version: 280.13

Thank you for all the information but I’m really surprised that so few users are interest in to take advantage of this feature in a default setup due to the low amount of votes.

On Tue, 04 Oct 2011 17:06:02 GMT FurciferPardalis wrote:

> Thank you for all the information but I’m really surprised that so few
> users are interest in to take advantage of this feature in a default
> setup due to the low amount of votes.

I can only speak for me. I don’t use Ubuntu and therefore i don’t know
what is so much better with the fonts instead of your technical
explanations about it sounds very good.

And only for the stats: With some changes in /etc/fonts/conf.d i’m
satisfied with the look of the fonts in opensuse and this makes me
again hard to vote for something which i have never seen. Perhaps some
other users have the same problem :slight_smile:

One suggestion about your package: For KDE you suggest full hinting
style but in /etc/fonts/conf.d you use 10-hinting-slight.conf instead
of 10-hinting-full.conf. From my view it would be better to have all
in /etc/fonts/conf.d instead of let the user do the configuration
because the look out of the box could only be better.

For some reason i have problems with the fonts on some webpages like lifehacker. Looks like Times font or something. Pretty ugly.
Also in Amarok the wiki windows looks the same ugly font. Not sure if thats an app related issue or something else.
All other fonts looks very good actually.

Have you tried changing all your fonts to Droid Sans?

No, but i changed it to DejaVu (wasn’t that recommended?). Right now i am not sure what font is best. I installed even the MS fonts (the free ones) but they don’t look that much better. At least i think it doesn’t.

It looks ok to me so far.

I also use the community repo.

I’m pretty sure we will be seeing this added to the next release.

I just tried Dejavu in Firefox 8 and it has improved.