I love bitmap fonts in my xterm, they look very good, there is no subpixel rendering or other antialiasing, but the fact they are hand made in regards to every pixel makes it cool. But I do not know how to find such fonts on the Internet and how to install them in my Ubuntu and then select them with xterm.

What I need is a detailed instruction for all three steps:

  • finding/downloading
  • installing into x11
  • make use by xterm

Here is how I set up fixed-medium now, but I have no much idea what it means, and how to select a particular file:

xterm -ls -font '-*-fixed-medium-*-*-*-18-*-*-*-*-*-*-9'  -b 20

This is what I used before, for TrueType fonts, which I do not want to use anymore for my xterm:

xterm -fs 11 -fa AndroidMono -geometry 120x30 -n 'terminal' -ls
  • I'm happy with xterm -fa default -fs 12 # :-)
    – sudodus
    Mar 9, 2018 at 9:27
  • @sudodus yes, -f1 loads the default "proportional font" for you, (i.e. vector font) I was using proportional fonts for years, now I am just in a different mood and want my bitmap fonts!
    – exebook
    Mar 9, 2018 at 9:45
  • Proportional font does not mean it's vectorized, actually. Mar 10, 2018 at 0:48
  • In a real xterm, selecting is ctrl-R click and select the one you want. Setting those (6) selections up is done in /etc/X11/app-defaults/XTerm.
    – ubfan1
    Mar 10, 2018 at 1:50
  • @ubfan1 good suggestion, but unfortunately it only allows to change size and switch between the default True-Type and default non True-Type (along with few more options) but not really allows to select the type face.
    – exebook
    Mar 10, 2018 at 7:13

1 Answer 1


You have 80+ standard packages with "xfont" in their name. Some of these are bundles for specific purposes like "web", "biz", etc. so hundreds of x fonts available to install.

Setting up default fonts in an xterm is well covered in How to Change the Default font size of XTerm

One additional method of selection not covered in the above link using an escape sequence to change the font in an xterm. First, ensure that "Allow Font Ops" is checked in the ctrl-R mouse button menu (near the bottom). The echo command:

echo -n -e "\033]50;8x16\007"

sets the font to 8x16. Put the command into a script you can run, passing the font as an argument:

# mychfnt script
echo -n -e "\033]50;$MYFNT\007"

e.g. put an executable file named chfnt with the above into your $HOME/bin directory, and whenever you want to change fonts, use


to list the available fonts, and then select one and

chfnt "-sony-fixed-medium-r-normal--24-230-75-75-c-120-iso8859-1"

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.