I am trying to install a new font on Cygwin. Lots of websites give tricks for an old Cygwin where everything was inside:


Some say it's easy with this:

cp /cygdrive/c/WINDOWS/Fonts/*.[tT][tT][fF] /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/ttf/

I guess with the Cygwin 7.4 fonts are located into /usr/share/fonts/ instead.

I tried to run xfontsel and I have very few fonts installed. I would like to install DejaVu Sans Mono and Consolas. Is is possible? How?

Anyway, I naively tried this:

mkdir /usr/share/fonts/ttf/
cp /cygdrive/c/WINDOWS/Fonts/consola*.ttf /usr/share/fonts/ttf/
xset fp rehash

But I still see few fonts with a pretty bad anti-aliasing and the TTF fonts are not visible.

Any clues?


I also get errors here:

$ xset +fp /usr/share/fonts/ttf
xset:  bad font path element (#0), possible causes are:
    Directory does not exist or has wrong permissions
    Directory missing fonts.dir
    Incorrect font server address or syntax

TrueType fonts with X are usually done using fontconfig. One of its features is that it looks by default in the .fonts directory under your home directory. You would use fc-list to list the fonts which are available, and use them with the -fa (family name) and -fs (font size) options of xterm. (while xfd has a corresponding -fa option, xfontsel does not).

xset on the other hand, looks for bitmap fonts which are referenced using the XLFD naming convention. You would use xlsfonts for listing those, and the -fn option of xterm.

These links discuss the .fonts directory:

However, from the example given it seems that you probably already have TrueType fonts installed, and that fc-list is the natural starting point.

  • Great it worked perfectly! – nowox May 28 '15 at 8:46

To install fonts in Cygwin X11 so they are available to xterm: get a listing of fonts loaded by setup:

ls -d /usr/share/X11/fonts

The result for me is:

/usr/share/X11/fonts/100dpi     /usr/share/X11/fonts/OTF
/usr/share/X11/fonts/75dpi      /usr/share/X11/fonts/TTF
/usr/share/X11/fonts/cyrillic   /usr/share/X11/fonts/Type1
/usr/share/X11/fonts/encodings  /usr/share/X11/fonts/urw-fonts
/usr/share/X11/fonts/misc       /usr/share/X11/fonts/util

in my case something is wrong with "misc" and "encodings" so I wont use them

Put a script similar to this in your ~/.xinitrc

xterm 2> /dev/null &
start-lxqt 2> /dev/null
# Ignore these for now, but fix them some time
#   encodings   util 
for font in 100dpi  75dpi  cyrillic  OTF  TTF  Type1  urw-fonts
# (for debugging ) echo trying $font
xset +fp /usr/share/X11/fonts/$font
xset fp rehash

After that when you start the X server using xinit or startxwin and then start an xterm then the font selection menu works for some things but especially true type fonts.

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