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Date:      Wed, 27 Dec 2017 16:09:34 -0000 (UTC)
From:      Christian Weisgerber <>
Subject:   Poor default fonts in Firefox
Message-ID:  <>

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You install a new FreeBSD machine with a graphics display, install
the xorg and firefox ports on it, all default options, start browsing
the web... and you see that some sites (e.g.
are presented with pixelated fonts like something out of the 1990s.

What do you do?

This affects approximately everybody who uses FreeBSD on a desktop
or laptop, and it has for years.  What's the standard solution, and
why doesn't this work out of the box?

The underlying problem is that certain popular font names, "Helvetica",
"Times", "Courier", are mapped to ancient bitmap fonts by default, e.g.:
$ fc-match Helvetica
helvR12-ISO8859-1.pcf.gz: "Helvetica" "Regular"

My personal solution for the last few years has been to pinch
OpenBSD's etc/fonts/conf.avail/31-nonmst.conf file...
... that maps these font names to DejaVu Sans/Serif/Sans Mono.
Still, that seems hackish and can hardly be expected from your
average user.

Christian "naddy" Weisgerber                

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