Creating a Linux Console Font

A while back, I found a nice TrueType font that mimicked the old DEC terminals. It was made by taking the ROMs of a DEC VT220, and creating the TTF font based on that data. It occurred to me that it would also make a really great replacement for the linux console font, where it really belongs.

I used similar techniques to build the bitmaps in fontforge, and then took the terminus font (ter-u20n_unicode; part of the xfonts-terminus package in Ubuntu 20) as a baseline, and replaced all the characters that were available in the vt220 character set.

Once I created this font file, I exported the font as a bdf font, size 20 point. I then converted the bdf font into the final psf console font with this command (all one line):

bdf2psf --fb vt220-20.bdf /usr/share/bdf2psf/standard.equivalents /usr/share/bdf2psf/fontsets/Uni1.512+/usr/share/bdf2psf/ascii.set+/usr/share/bdf2psf/linux.set+/usr/share/bdf2psf/useful.set 512 vt220.psf

You can then use this new psf font and replace the console font of your linux text console.

Leave a Comment