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I have often observed that in other distributions (not Ubuntu derivatives) even after enabling font hinting and rgb aliasing, the fonts dont look as good as Ubuntu.

What are the specific optimizations carried out in ubuntu for font display?

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Open up firefox, and from terminal kill all process relating to gnome-settings-daemon. Use "ps -ax | grep gnome-settings" to find the pid. Kill all of them at once (specially gnome-fallback-mount-helper and gnome-settings-daemon), you will know the difference, how firefox goes to old theme. You could also use "sudo sed -i 's/NoDisplay=true/NoDisplay=false/g' /etc/xdg/autostart/*.desktop" and go to startup applications uncheck Gnome Settings Daemon logout and login to see the difference. If that is what you were referring to by saying good and bad font. –  razor Mar 23 '13 at 9:19

3 Answers 3

One reason may be that there are software patents covering certain font rendering techniques. US-based distributions (such as Red Hat) have more difficulty distributing these techniques than EU-based distributions (such as Ubuntu).

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Ubuntu is a EU-based distribution?-) Perhaps, for extremely south values of EU… –  ΤΖΩΤΖΙΟΥ Jan 10 '13 at 0:34

There is a bit of subjectivity (to say the least) on fonts and font rendering.

See : http://blog.mageprojects.com/2011/05/27/linux-fonts-compared-ubuntu-11-04-linuxmint-11-fedora-15-windows-7-sabayon-5-5/

That first link has a screen shot of several fonts on several OS and the author concludes :

The Ubuntu and LinuxMint fonts look ugly and way to fat. period!

(Authors words, not mine).

There are a few resources you can look into, you will have to decide for yourself what you like best.

A few resources you might look at (you mentioned you were using Fedora)

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Fonts#Font_settings

http://blog.andreas-haerter.com/2011/07/18/tune-improve-fedora-fonts-typeface-ubuntu-like-sharp-fonts

http://fedorasolved.org/Members/khaytsus/improve-fonts

Rather the telling you how to configure you fonts, I hope those links help you understand how to configure them to your personal preference.

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First link is death D: –  EaterOfCode Jun 6 '13 at 11:17

I don't think that Ubuntu have any specific changes to font rendering that are not available upstream. Ubuntu does use it own font (called Ubuntu) which you may like more than fonts used by other distros. You can check if setting other distro font to Ubuntu font makes them look the same.

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I have checked Ubuntu font on Fedora 16 but it does not make much of a difference –  Ganesh Hegde Jan 10 '12 at 12:58

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