1. Is it possible, to wipe all fonts other than TrueType fonts? If so, how?
  2. What fonts are absolutely needed/necessary in a working X environment?
  • 2
    just out of curiosity, why would you want to wipe out all (but the absolutely necessary) fonts? Is it a disk space constraint?
    – Decio Lira
    Aug 8, 2010 at 1:00

3 Answers 3


xfonts-base should be enough to start the X server..

If you intend to run a Desktop Environment you have to install some extra fonts.


You should have at least one sans-serif, one serif and one monospace font (mainly for web browsing). You should be safe with only ttf-freefont and ttf-liberation. Note, all truetype font packages start with 'ttf-'. OpenType font packages begin with 'otf-'. To remove all OpenType fonts, remove all packages starting with 'otf-'.

  • 2
    There are quite a few packages that begin with ttf- but contain opentype fonts rather than true type fonts (e.g., all the ttf-adf- ones. ttf-inconsolata, dtc.). I think package managers do this because a lot of people don't understand that opentype fonts are scaleable just like true type fonts, and in fact, are better in just about every way. I can't think of any reason why someone would prefer truetype to opentype fonts. It's not as if they were bitmap fonts.
    – frabjous
    Sep 24, 2010 at 21:22

Many of the ttf-* packages are only for international script support and clutter the font listings on programs.

There is a fair amount of duplication. DejaVu, for instance, has Arabic characters in it, but there are separate arabic fonts installed. If you delete those you won’t see empty rectangles on websites containing arabic because DejaVu has those basically covered.

Just one example.


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