If you find yourself in that situation, it can be better to use the largest fixed-size fonts instead and adjust the display resolution rather than the font size. If you often work in low resolutions (perhaps because some of your applications don't use FreeType, or they have graphical controls that won't enlarge, or you need the scrollable desktop estate) then you might want to get FreeType to use the older fonts too.
cd ~ mkdir .fonts ln -s $(xset q | grep /fonts/ | head -1 | sed -e "s|fonts/.*|fonts|") .fonts/fontpath
.Xresourcesand check the setting of
Xft.dpi. Add a line if it isn't there already; it should look like this:
Xft.dpi: 125The ideal DPI setting is probably 7.2 times the pixel size of your bitmap fonts (so 144 for 20-pixel) but it seems that some installations of FreeType work better if you reduce it a little; you may need to experiment to get the best size.
fc-list : file | grep dpiafter making the above changes; if there is no output then your system has the bug. If you find yourself on such a system then undo the first two steps (
rm -rf ~/.fonts*) and try to find some fonts that FreeType doesn't render too badly. You can try installing the Debian package
msttcorefontsbut the results are still likely to be less readable than the bitmaps. It may help to add the following to your Xresources (it's already there in the ones on this site) :
Xft.hinting: true Xft.hintstyle: hintslight Xft.antialias: 0