Ubuntu Feisty 7.04 manual page repository

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        setfont - load EGA/VGA console screen font


        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]


        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:
               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
        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.
        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.
        Several mappings are involved in the path from user program  output  to
        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
mapscrn(8)  obsolete.
        (However, it may be useful to read that man page.)
        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
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.


        -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‐
        -v     Be verbose.
        -V     Print version and exit.


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


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Ubuntu is an African word meaning 'Humanity to others', or 'I am what I am because of who we all are'. The Ubuntu distribution brings the spirit of Ubuntu to the software world.