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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  optionally  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  several
              character  sets)  and indicate that one’s local character set is
              ISO 8859-2.

FONT FORMATS

       The standard Linux font format is  the  PSF  font.   It  has  a  header
       describing  font  properties like character size, followed by the glyph
       bitmaps, optionally followed by a  Unicode  mapping  table  giving  the
       Unicode  value  for  each glyph.  Several 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 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
       specified  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   converts  that  to  Unicode  (ucs2).   Otherwise,  a
       translation table is used from  the  8-bit  program  output  to  16-bit
       Unicode  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  activation  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 useful to read that man page.)

UNICODE FONT MAPS

       The correspondence between the glyphs in the font and Unicode 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
       Unicode mapping table will be saved as part of the saved font file when
       the -O option is used. It can be saved to a separate file using the -ou
       file option.  These options of setfont render loadunimap(8) obsolete.

       The Unicode mapping table should assign  some  glyph  to  the  ‘missing
       character’   value   U+fffd,   otherwise  missing  characters  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.

       -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.

       -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.

FILES

       /usr/share/consolefonts     is     the    default    font    directory.
       /usr/share/unimaps  is  the  default  directory   for   Unicode   maps.
       /usr/share/consoletrans  is  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)

                                  11 Feb 2001                       SETFONT(8)