This is what worked for me from tty3 (Ctrl + Alt + F3):
sudo apt install xfonts-terminus
sudo dpkg-reconfigure console-setup
- keep defaults for first couple of selections
- choose Terminus for the font
- choose 16x32
- do OK, and then WAIT for permanent update (dpkg-reconfigure changes your boot image using update-initramfs).
I suggest you first double-check that your terminal is using frame buffer by
sudo dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/fb0. Your whole screen background will change to noise if your current terminal is using the framebuffer. If you see nothing change, then your terminal is not using the frame buffer - it could be very bad for you if you select a font that requires the framebuffer but YMMV.
Apparently fbterm can also be used with TrueType fonts that can be set to arbitrary sizes, but after installing fbterm, reading man pages, and running it with a variety of different options I couldn’t work out how to do so.
There is a better way to change the grub settings to change the font-size on start to avoid this problem in the first place, but watch out for incorrect info out there about how to do it...
Note: I needed this because I needed to use tty to fix my totally borked Ubuntu install, and I couldn't read the ctrl-alt-F3 tty3 terminal on a 4K screen on Dell XPS15. (I deinstalled evolution* but the Ubuntu Gnome login screen requires evolution-data-server something so it wouldn't even boot into Ubuntu anymore; fixed by using
sudo apt install --reinstall ubuntu-desktop.)