translates BDF fonts to PSF format. It accepts fonts with arbitrary
size of the font matrix. If the width of the glyph matrix of the
source font is 7 or 9 pixels then it generates fonts with width of 8
Generate font for the framebuffer. There are two important differences
between the framebuffer and the text mode. First, all fonts in text
mode have to have matrix 8 pixels width. They also have to have either
256 or 512 glyphs. Second, in most text modes the hardware does some
magic in order to use 8 pixels width fonts as if they were 9 pixels
width. In order to achieve this the video hardware copyes the 8th
column in the 9th columnt of the glyphs with codes from 0xC0 to 0xDF
and from 0x1C0 to 0x1DF.
is very careful when deciding where to place a particular glyph and as
a result the encoding of the generated font is more or less arbitrary.
Record in the file
any problems during the conversion.
The "\+"-separated list of the source BDF font(s). When a particular
symbol is defined in more than one of the specified fonts then fonts
listed first take precedence.
A "\+"-separated list of files defining an equivalence relation
between the glyphs. See the section EQUIVALENCE FILES below.
A "\+"-separated list of files describing character sets. The
generated font will support all specified character sets. When there
is no space in the PSF font for all symbols, the character sets listed
first take precedence. When a colon before a character set is
specified no warnings will be issued for symbols that could not be
placed in the font. See the section CHARACTER SETS below.
The size of the PSF font. Usually 256 or 512 glyphs.
The name of the generated font. If a file with this name already
exists it will be overwritten.
Save in the file
the SFM of the generated font. This parameter is optional.
The encodings of the traditional console fonts a similar to the
standard encodings of the different languages. For example there are
fonts for all variants of ISO 8859. This is redundand, for example
ISO 8859-1, ISO 8859-9 and ISO 8859-15 differ only by few characters
and can be easyly covered by only one font.
In order to determine the minimal set of character sets a clustering
algorithm has been used. The source code of
contains lists of the characters that most languages require - one
list per language. We started with one character set per language and
used the clustering algorithm in order to join the character sets to
bigger. The character sets described in files installed in the
were the result of the algorithm.
These files list the unicodes of the symbols of the character set, one
per line. Comments starting with a sharp sign are also allowed.
There two more special character sets in the files
The first of them lists the symbols that every console font is
obligated to support. There two classes of obligatory symbols - the
ASCII symbols and the symbols from the so called alternate character
set (see section "Line Graphics" of
Notice that in order to limit itself to the cp437 character set, the
Linux console driver does some approximations of the symbols from the
alternate character set. For example it prints U+256A (BOX DRAWINGS
VERTICAL SINGLE AND HORIZONTAL DOUBLE) instead of the not-equal
sign. The file required.set lists the symbols used by the Linux
console driver (i.e. U+256A instead of the not-equal sign).
In most cases there is more available space in the fonts than
necessary. The spare codes can be filled with the symbols from the
special character set. It is convenient to use a colon before the
on the command line of
so no warnings are issued when there is no space in the font for some
of these symbols.
The equivalence files define an equivalence relation between
unicodes. The sharp sign is used for comments, the empty lines are
ignored. All other lines should list two or more unicodes. Only one
glyph will be allocated in the PSF font for these unicodes.
# U+2126: OHM SIGN
# U+03A9: GREEK CAPITAL LETTER OMEGA
# U+041D: CYRILLIC CAPITAL LETTER EN
# U+0048: LATIN CAPITAL LETTER H
This equivalence file says that U+2126 (the Ohm sign) and U+03A9
(Omega) have the same look so only one glyph is enough for them. And
also U+041D (Cyrillic En) and U+0048 (Latin H) look the same.
Two equivalence files are provided -
The first one can be used for all fonts. The purpose of the second is
to reduce the number of the necessary glyphs for the Arabic letters at
the cost of the font quality. It should be used only for fonts that
have to support Arabic but there is not enough space in the PSF font
for all Arabic characters. The
character set is a character set that requires
All mentioned files and directories are usually installed in