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GNOME and fontconfig settings

Since there isn't a section dedicated to fonts in GNOME 3 I was thinking about writing one, but I put it here first:

GNOME doesn't use the dpi settings set by xorg server to scale fonts, instead it uses a fixed dpi of 96 that cannot be changed unlike previous versions:

/* As we cannot rely on the X server giving us good DPI information, and
 * that we don't want multi-monitor screens to have different DPIs (thus
 * different text sizes), we'll hard-code the value of the DPI
 * See also:

The gnome-settings-daemon plugin xsettings relies on this hardcoded value for some calculations and there is currently no way of changing it beside customizing the code in abs. The dimension of text can be tweaked changing the text-scaling-factor (1.0 by default), using gnome-tweak-tool or editing the following key in dconf-editor:


The xsettings plugins will also merge some Xft values in the X resources db overwriting values set in .Xresources od .Xdefaults files. The defaults are:

Xft.antialias:	1
Xft.dpi:	96
Xft.hinting:	1
Xft.hintstyle:	hintmedium
Xft.lcdfilter:	lcddefault
Xft.rgba:	none

Some of those values can be changed using dconf-editor (org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.xsettings) or gnome-tweak-tool. It is possible to change this values using xrdb -merge ~/.Xresources after gnome is started but gnome will still use its values internally so it is not a good idea.

It is a good idea to configure your fonts.conf in a way consistent with the gnome settings otherwise, at least on my laptop, fonts will looks weird in some gnome apps.

The dpi setting of the Xserver can be changed to 96 following this guide, this way it will be the same for all applications, the drawback is that fonts might look too small or too big in other application if the real DPI of your monitor differs too much from 96.

For and LCD monitor it is a good idea to activate the lcd filter setting the following keys in dconf-editor:

org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.xsettings.antialiasing rgba
org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.xsettings.rgba-order rgb, bgr, vrgb or vbgr (as your monitor requires)

Since the lcdfilter is not designed to work together with autohinting it is a good idea to disable it also in fonts.conf. It is also a good idea to use the same hinting value as in your font.conf, the default in gnome is medium:

org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.xsettings.hinting medium

This values in fonts.conf will match the gnome settings:

<match target="font">
 <edit mode="assign" name="rgba"><const>rgb</const></edit>
 <edit mode="assign" name="autohint"><bool>false</bool></edit>
 <edit mode="assign" name="hinting"><bool>true</bool></edit>
 <edit mode="assign" name="hintstyle"><const>hintmedium</const></edit>
 <edit mode="assign" name="antialias"><bool>true</bool></edit>
 <edit mode="assign" name="lcdfilter"><const>lcddefault</const></edit>

(to be finished, please comment or fix) —This unsigned comment is by Erm67 (talk) 23:58, 8 January 2012‎. Please sign your posts with ~~~~!

I think that info must be in Font configuration, linked from there if needed -- Kycok (talk) 10:57, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
Well, it is very GNOME specific and complex at the same time. I would vote for putting it into GNOME tips and crosslink it from GNOME#Fonts as well as from Font configuration. But first: Above contribution of Erm67 is a couple of years back. Does someone know whether the instructions still work like that? --Indigo (talk) 09:04, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

ownCloud Integration

I noticed missing ownCloud functionality in some GNOME applications (Nautilus & Documents) if gfvs-goa is not installed. I am not sure what else is affected or how exactly this works. I also didn't find any mention on the File manager functionality nor the GVFS pages. I was thinking of contributing to the Troubleshooting section but I do not know enough about the topic or wiki editing. Beanaroo (talk) 09:21, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

Candidate for GNOME#Online accounts perhaps? -- Chazza (talk) 14:54, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Replacing gsettings instructsions which are offered by gnome-tweak-tools

We could keep the howl article shorter, if we generally describe the usage and purpose of gsettings/dconf once. If not convenient option is available, we describe the actual setting with gsettings. If a convenient option is available through the gnome-tweak-tool, we should just refer to it.

Examles: HIDPI, Background, Font-Settings, Application Startup...


Hoschi (talk) 15:05, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

I don't like the idea for three reasons:
1) Tweak tool is a third party tool - it's not truly part of GNOME. We can't guarantee that every user will have installed it and we shouldn't be forcing users to install it if they don't particularly want it.
2) It probably takes more words to tell users how to navigate a GUI tool than to give them a command.
3) Users won't learn anything. If a user familiarises themself with dconf-editor or GSettings they will understand GNOME configuration better. If there's a setting that isn't exposed in Tweak Tool, a user who is familiar dconf-editor/Gsettings will know roughly where to look and will be able to tweak that setting. In my mind, Tweak Tool is very convenient but we shouldn't be making users dependent upon it.
Just my opinion though. If others want to go down down this route then I won't be disputing it. -- Chazza (talk) 20:05, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
I agree to Chazza. However, the gnome-tweak-tool is a very established tool and also very helpful to configure the shell according to your own needs, e.g. trial-error what you like best in its tabs is quick - you have to wade a lot of settings to get to that. How about we make it more prominent to make readers not familiar with it aware of it (e.g. at the beginning of "Advanced settings")? --Indigo (talk) 21:36, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
You're both right. We should explain gsettings/dconf thorough, so users can learn the internals of GNOME. And we should also present the tweak-tool als quick solution, for everyone who want just change a simple setting (it is semiofficial: hosted on and even Allan Day contributed to the design, which is somewhat ironic but a good thing).

Hoschi (talk) 10:05, 25 November 2014 (UTC)