I've been using the font Terminus for years as console and coding font.

Now, I do some typesetting, too, and while not using Terminus as monospaced font for print, I need to showcase it in a document I'm working on.

I'm using XeTeX, which has OpenType support build into it. I know there's a TTF version of Terminus available, I've tried that one, and I'm less than happy with what comes out on print. I'd like to have Terminus, which is normally a bitmap font, in an OTF format. OTF supports bitmap fonts, by saving several font sizes into the glyph and grapheme pattern. I was wondering if anyone could advise me the course of action I should take.

I'd rather not use the TTF version of Terminus, as it doesn't look too good.

Either I'd convert the pcf font into something that can be used in XeTeX (xelatex), or use an OTF version, but I couldn't find that one anywhere on the net.

Please advise what and how I should do.

2 Answers 2


It is possible to generate an OpenType Terminus font starting from the original bdf fonts and following the instructions at https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/BitmapFontConversion

Just for reference I did this on a Debian system and the resulting font works fairly well with Pango/Gtk:

$ wget https://sourceforge.net/projects/terminus-font/files/terminus-font-4.48/terminus-font-4.48.tar.gz
$ wget https://ndim.fedorapeople.org/stuff/bitmapfonts2otb/bitmapfonts2otb.py
$ sudo apt-get install xfonts-utils freetype2-demos
$ tar xzvf terminus-font-4.48.tar.gz
$ cd terminus-font-4.48/
$ python3 ../bitmapfonts2otb.py ter-*.bdf
$ cp Terminus*.otb ~/.fonts/

You can convert your TTF font to an OTF font easily, though it's not going to be fundamentally different, and I don't know of a reason why it would look different unless XeTeX just likes OpenType better. It's worth a try. There are plenty of conversion sites online that facilitate this. Here's one: font2web and the one I prefer, here.

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