Home > linux > Debian, XFCE, Google Chrome, ugly fonts (all of a sudden)

Debian, XFCE, Google Chrome, ugly fonts (all of a sudden)

I noticed today that KDE4 in Debian Testing is now at (almost) the recent version and decided to give it a try.

After doing this (and purging KDE4 from my system… again…) I returned back to my usual XFCE environment and all of a sudden fonts in Google Chrome looked ugly, different than before.

The fonts in Chrome’s window decorations (page title, bookmarks bar) were fine, it’s just the fonts in web page content that appeared without hinting. Other apps were fine too.

Checked XFCE’s font settings (I prefer to use anti-aliasing and slight hinting), switched antialiasing and hinting off and on, checked /etc/fonts, nothing helped.

Did some searching on the web, and here is the fix.

~/.fonts.conf needs to have a section at the end (marked below) that apparently doesn’t get added by XFCE’s font config applet, but is necessary for Chrome.

<?xml version='1.0'?>
<!DOCTYPE fontconfig SYSTEM 'fonts.dtd'>
 <match target="font">
  <edit mode="assign" name="rgba">
 <match target="font">
  <edit mode="assign" name="hinting">
 <match target="font">
  <edit mode="assign" name="hintstyle">
 <match target="font">
  <edit mode="assign" name="antialias">
***** The following section was missing.
***** Adding it fixed web page fonts in Chrome.
 <match target="font">
  <edit name="autohint" mode="assign">
Categories: linux
  1. June 7, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    Thanks , that worked. Even if i didn’t have that file in my home folder, i createdit with content that you provided, and it worked… Back to normal 🙂

  2. Neo
    December 16, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    Thanks a lot, I fix it.

  3. Kenneth Delfinado
    July 16, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    I would like a refund in wifi manager premium service because theres about being premium to non premium

    • Kostya Vasilyev
      July 16, 2013 at 6:23 pm

      Canceled and refunded. Puzzled what “because theres about being about premium to non premium” means though 🙂

  4. howardb
    April 1, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    Your post definitely helped improve things! I’m using mint kde (precise) at the moment, but upgraded libcario2/pixman to the version in raring to fix xorg issues with eclipse slowdowns/chrome tab issues, and noticed a side effect (to me) looks like better fonts rendered in chrome. Might be useful to know..?

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