Recently, I tried (as many) the recent beta of Safari on Windows. While the experience was far from nice (crashes, problem with rendering…) I noticed something very interesting : Apple is including the latest version of their Lucida Grande font in the package. This is quite nice, because the only version you can usually find on the Internet are old one with some characters missing (most notably the €). This package comes with the 5.0 version which is, I believe, the latest. These fonts are very readable at small font size, so they are a (among some others) perfect choice for a system font. It’s no surprise that the MacOS X desktop looks slick with these fonts. But now you can also have them in you Linux box ! Here are the instructions for Ubuntu, you can adapt them for Debian or your other distro of choice. If you don’t want to extract the font yourself, skip the first part.
Part 1 : Download and install Safari in Wine, then extract the fonts
First of all, install Wine. You can do this with tutorials, synaptic, or terminal and:
sudo apt-get install wine
Then download the Safari for Windows package at the Apple download site. Execute it with wine either by double clicking on it (if your system is configured for that) or with:
Once safari is installed, go to the install folder (« C:\Program Files\Safari\ » by default, on Linux with wine this is « ~/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/Safari/ ») and browse the Safari resources directory called « Safari.resources ». Here are your precious fonts ! You also have a nice Safari picture for your blog ;-). Copy them to your home directory or any other location and remove Safari (useless).
Part 2 : Install the fonts
First, you will have to copy the fonts to your ttf font directory. Create it if it doesn’t exist yet:
sudo mkdir -p /usr/share/fonts/truetype/ttf
Copy the fonts:
sudo cp Lucida\ Grande\ Bold.ttf /usr/share/fonts/truetype/ttf/
sudo cp Lucida\ Grande.ttf /usr/share/fonts/truetype/ttf/
And reconfigure the fonts:
sudo dpkg-reconfigure fontconfig
You may also have to restart X with Ctrl+Alt+Backspace (save your work before that !). Go to your favourite font preferences (on Ubuntu this in System->Preferences->Font) and select Lucida Grande as the default font for everything with non-fixed font (ie Terminal/Code). Size 10 is very readable but a little big, and you can use the bold variant for the window title. If you are running also KDE apps or running the KDE desktop, you can select the same fonts and improve coherency among your system.
Osman shares with us this great tip ! If you want to install it as user font, just copy it to your font directory in your user profile.
mkdir -p ~/.fonts
cp Lucida\ Grande\ Bold.ttf ~/.fonts
cp Lucida\ Grande.ttf ~/.fonts
No more needs for a sudo !
- You can also extract the fonts from a Windows box. The rest is the same.
- If your font doesn’t appear or has problem, check the files permissions in /usr/share/fonts/truetype/ttf/
- On my flat panel, I have the following in use in my font preferences
- Full hinting
- Subpixel smoothing on (RVB order)