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Console Fonts

The default font for consoles, that is, terminals with no X windows, uses the ASCII character set. This font and character set can easily be changed by the user.

Console fonts are found in Template:Filename. The console display is limited to either 256 characters and 16 available colors or 512 characters and 8 available colors. The "bright" terminal colors aren't available when using the larger set of characters.

Previewing and testing

No organized library of console font images is available. The user can, however, use Template:Codeline to temporarily change the font. The user can then work as usual at the command line to determine if the font is suitable. A table of all the available glyphs or letters in the font can also be viewed with the command Template:Codeline.

If the font is not suitable, a return to the default font can then be made by issuing the command Template:Codeline, without any arguments. If the console display is totally unreadable, this command will still work—the user just types in the command "blind."

Note that Template:Codeline only works on the active console. Any other consoles, active or inactive, remain unaffected.


Change the font. This one is distinctive:

$ setfont gr737b-9x16-medieval.psfu.gz

Or change the font to one with 512 glyphs and the ISO 8859-3 character set:

$ setfont 

Issue commands that send text to the display:

$ cat somefile
$ man man

View the table of glyphs:

$ showconsolefont

To use other fonts change the Template:Codeline and Template:Codeline settings in Template:Filename. Different fonts can be found in Template:Filename directory and keymaps can be found in the subdirectories of Template:Filename.


For displaying characters such as č, ć, ž, đ, or š, use the font Template:Filename:


And set the proper keymap, in this case:


To use the specified font in early userspace (early in the bootup process), add the Template:Codeline hook to Template:Filename:

HOOKS="base udev autodetect pata scsi sata filesystems keymap"

Then rebuild the image:

# mkinitcpio -p kernel26
Note: Repeat if you have more than one kernel package installed and want the same behavior for each kernel.

See: Mkinitcpio: Configuring the HOOKS