SETFONT(8)                (11 Feb 2001)                SETFONT(8)

     NAME
          setfont - load EGA/VGA console screen font

     SYNOPSIS
          setfont [-O font+umap.orig] [-o font.orig] [-om cmap.orig]
          [-ou umap.orig] [-N] [font.new ...] [-m cmap] [-u umap] [-C
          console] [-hH] [-v] [-V]

     DESCRIPTION
          The setfont command reads a font from the file font.new and
          loads it into the EGA/VGA character generator, and option-
          ally outputs the previous font.  It can also load various
          mapping tables and output the previous versions.

          If no args are given (or only the option -N for some number
          N), then a default (8xN) font is loaded (see below).  One
          may give several small fonts, all containing a Unicode
          table, and setfont will combine them and load the union.
          Typical use:

          setfont
               Load a default font.

          setfont drdos8x16
               Load a given font (here the 448-glyph drdos font).

          setfont cybercafe -u cybercafe
               Load a given font that does not have a Unicode map and
               provide one explicitly.

          setfont LatArCyrHeb-19 -m 8859-2
               Load a given font (here a 512-glyph font combining sev-
               eral character sets) and indicate that one's local
               character set is ISO 8859-2.

          Note: if a font has more than 256 glyphs, only 8 out of 16
          colors can be used simultaneously. It can make console per-
          ception worse (loss of intensity and even some colors).

     FONT FORMATS
          The standard Linux font format is the PSF font.  It has a
          header describing font properties like character size, fol-
          lowed by the glyph bitmaps, optionally followed by a Unicode
          mapping table giving the Unicode value for each glyph.  Sev-
          eral other (obsolete) font formats are recognized.  If the
          input file has code page format (probably with suffix .cp),
          containing three fonts with sizes e.g. 8x8, 8x14 and 8x16,
          then one of the options -8 or -14 or -16 must be used to
          select one.  Raw font files are binary files of size 256*N

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          bytes, containing bit images for each of 256 characters, one
          byte per scan line, and N bytes per character (0 < N <= 32).
          Most fonts have a width of 8 bits, but with the framebuffer
          device (fb) other widths can be used.

     FONT HEIGHT
          The program setfont has no built-in knowledge of VGA video
          modes, but just asks the kernel to load the character ROM of
          the video card with certain bitmaps. However, since Linux
          1.3.1 the kernel knows enough about EGA/VGA video modes to
          select a different line distance. The default character
          height will be the number N inferred from the font or speci-
          fied by option. However, the user can specify a different
          character height H using the -h option.

     CONSOLE MAPS
          Several mappings are involved in the path from user program
          output to console display. If the console is in utf8 mode
          (see unicode_start(1)) then the kernel expects that user
          program output is coded as UTF-8 (see utf-8(7)), and con-
          verts that to Unicode (ucs2).  Otherwise, a translation
          table is used from the 8-bit program output to 16-bit Uni-
          code values. Such a translation table is called a Unicode
          console map. There are four of them: three built into the
          kernel, the fourth settable using the -m option of setfont.
          An escape sequence chooses between these four tables; after
          loading a cmap, setfont will output the escape sequence Esc
          ( K that makes it the active translation.

          Suitable arguments for the -m option are for example 8859-1,
          8859-2, ..., 8859-15, cp437, ..., cp1250.

          Given the Unicode value of the symbol to be displayed, the
          kernel finds the right glyph in the font using the Unicode
          mapping info of the font and displays it.

          Old fonts do not have Unicode mapping info, and in order to
          handle them there are direct-to-font maps (also loaded using
          -m) that give a correspondence between user bytes and font
          positions.  The most common correspondence is the one given
          in the file trivial (where user byte values are used
          directly as font positions).  Other correspondences are
          sometimes preferable since the PC video hardware expects
          line drawing characters in certain font positions.

          Giving a -m none argument inhibits the loading and activa-
          tion of a mapping table.  The previous console map can be
          saved to a file using the -om file option.  These options of
          setfont render mapscrn(8) obsolete. (However, it may be use-
          ful to read that man page.)

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     UNICODE FONT MAPS
          The correspondence between the glyphs in the font and Uni-
          code values is described by a Unicode mapping table.  Many
          fonts have a Unicode mapping table included in the font
          file, and an explicit table can be indicated using the -u
          option. The program setfont will load such a Unicode mapping
          table, unless a -u none argument is given. The previous Uni-
          code mapping table will be saved as part of the saved font
          file when the -O option is used. It can be saved to a sepa-
          rate file using the -ou file option.  These options of set-
          font render loadunimap(8) obsolete.

          The Unicode mapping table should assign some glyph to the
          `missing character' value U+fffd, otherwise missing charac-
          ters are not translated, giving a usually very confusing
          result.

          Usually no mapping table is needed, and a Unicode mapping
          table is already contained in the font (sometimes this is
          indicated by the .psfu extension), so that most users need
          not worry about the precise meaning and functioning of these
          mapping tables.

          One may add a Unicode mapping table to a psf font using
          psfaddtable(1).

     OPTIONS
          -h H Override font height.

          -d   Doubles the size of the font, by replicating all of its
               pixels vertically and horizontally.  This is suitable
               for high pixel density (e.g. "4k") displays on which
               the standard fonts are too small to be easily legible.
               Due to kernel limitations, this is suitable only for
               16x16 or smaller fonts.

          -m file
               Load console map or Unicode console map from file.

          -o file
               Save previous font in file.

          -O file
               Save previous font and Unicode map in file.

          -om file
               Store console map in file.

          -ou file
               Save previous Unicode map in file.

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          -u file
               Load Unicode table describing the font from file.

          -C console
               Set the font for the indicated console. (May require
               root permissions.)

          -v   Be verbose.

          -V   Print version and exit.

     NOTE
          PC video hardware allows one to use the "intensity" bit
          either to indicate brightness, or to address 512 (instead of
          256) glyphs in the font. So, if the font has more than 256
          glyphs, the console will be reduced to 8 (instead of 16)
          colors.

     FILES
          /usr/share/consolefonts
               The default font directory.

          /usr/share/unimaps
               The default directory for Unicode maps.

          /usr/share/consoletrans
               The default directory for screen mappings.

          The default font is a file default (or default8xN if the -N
          option was given for some number N) perhaps with suitable
          extension (like .psf).

     SEE ALSO
          psfaddtable(1), unicode_start(1), loadunimap(8), utf-8(7),
          mapscrn(8)

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