Java Runtime Environment fonts
Some users may find the default Java fonts or the display mode of fonts in Java applications to be unpleasant. Several methods to improve the font display in the Oracle Java Runtime Environment (JRE) are available. These methods may be used separately, but many users will find they achieve better results by combining them.
TrueType fonts appear to be the best supported format for use with Java.
Anti-aliasing of fonts is available with Oracle Java 1.6 and OpenJDK on Linux.
Running an xsettings daemon
Java tries to get the system defaults through xsettings. On GNOME you don't have to do anything,
gnome-settings-daemon is already running. Otherwise is a lightweight alternative.
Overriding the automatically picked up settings
If you don't want to run an xsettings daemon, or the fonts still look ugly, there is also a system property to set anti-aliasing. To do this system-wide, add the following line to
setting is one of the values:
||Use the font's built-in hinting instructions|
||Anti-aliasing tuned for many popular LCD monitors|
||Alternative LCD monitor setting|
lcd settings work well in many instances.
To optionally to use GTK look and feel, add the following line instead:
- The described Java options only work for applications that draw their GUI in Java, like Jdownloader, and not for applications which utilize Java as backend only, like Openoffice.org and Matlab.
- TrueType fonts contain a grid-fitting and scan-conversion procedure (GASP) table with the designer's recommendations for the font's display at different point sizes. Some sizes are recommended to be fully anti-aliased, others are to be hinted, and some are to be displayed as bitmaps. Combinations are sometimes used for certain point sizes.
Specify the variable on the command line before the executable to try the new configuration:
Re-login for the changes to take effect.
Even with anti-aliasing enforced through Java options, the resulting anti-aliasing may be inferior to native applications. This can be remedied with a patch to OpenJDK, available in the AUR:
- Patched OpenJDK7 is available as AUR (--enable-infinality=yes)
- Patched OpenJDK8 is available as AUR
The patched version obtains the per-family FreeType rendering/loading flags from fontconfig instead of using OpenJDK heuristics. Although this is an Infinality package, the patches themselves don't actually depend on AUR since only vanilla APIs are used.
Some Java applications may specify use of a particular TrueType font; these applications must be made aware of the directory path to the desired font. TrueType fonts are installed in the directory
/usr/share/fonts/TTF. Add the following line to
/etc/environment to enable these fonts.
Relogin for the change to take effect.
Place font files under the directory below. Create the directory if it does not exist.
/usr/lib/jvm/java-8-openjdk for the
$JAVA_HOME of the JRE you are actually using. Note that the feature is removed since Oracle Java 9, as Oracle considers it a bug to encourage users to change "lib", moved the config files to "conf" and called the fallback functionality a "mis-feature". The specific function providing this behavior is
sun.awt.FontConfiguration.getInstalledFallbackFonts, and OpenJDK seems to still have it.
Doing so makes Java always add the fonts in this directory into the fallback sequence to look for character shapes (glyphs) in. This way, no matter what fonts the application has asked for, these additional fonts will provide the missing glyphs when needed.