setfont - load EGA/VGA console screen font


   setfont   [-O  font+umap.orig]  [-o  font.orig]  [-om  cmap.orig]  [-ou
   umap.orig] [-N] [ ...]  [-m cmap] [-u umap] [-C console]  [-hH]
   [-v] [-V]


   The  setfont  command  reads a font from the file and loads it
   into the  EGA/VGA  character  generator,  and  optionally  outputs  the
   previous  font.  It can also load various mapping tables and output the
   previous versions.

   If no args are given (or only the option -N for some number N), then  a
   default  (8xN)  font is loaded (see below).  One may give several small
   fonts, all containing a Unicode table, and setfont  will  combine  them
   and load the union.  Typical use:

          Load a default font.

   setfont drdos8x16
          Load a given font (here the 448-glyph drdos font).

   setfont cybercafe -u cybercafe
          Load  a  given font that does not have a Unicode map and provide
          one explicitly.

   setfont LatArCyrHeb-19 -m 8859-2
          Load a given font  (here  a  512-glyph  font  combining  several
          character  sets)  and indicate that one's local character set is
          ISO 8859-2.

   Note: if a font has more than 256 glyphs, only 8 out of 16  colors  can
   be  used  simultaneously. It can make console perception worse (loss of
   intensity and even some colors).


   The standard Linux font format is  the  PSF  font.   It  has  a  header
   describing  font  properties like character size, followed by the glyph
   bitmaps, optionally followed by a  Unicode  mapping  table  giving  the
   Unicode  value  for  each glyph.  Several other (obsolete) font formats
   are recognized.  If the input file has code page format (probably  with
   suffix .cp), containing three fonts with sizes e.g. 8x8, 8x14 and 8x16,
   then one of the options -8 or -14 or -16 must be used  to  select  one.
   Raw  font  files  are  binary files of size 256*N bytes, containing bit
   images for each of 256 characters, one byte per scan line, and N  bytes
   per  character  (0  < N <= 32).  Most fonts have a width of 8 bits, but
   with the framebuffer device (fb) other widths can be used.


   The program setfont has no built-in knowledge of VGA video  modes,  but
   just  asks  the kernel to load the character ROM of the video card with
   certain bitmaps. However, since Linux 1.3.1  the  kernel  knows  enough
   about  EGA/VGA  video  modes  to  select a different line distance. The
   default character height will be the number N inferred from the font or
   specified  by  option.  However,  the  user  can  specify  a  different
   character height H using the -h option.


   Several mappings are involved in the path from user program  output  to
   console  display. If the console is in utf8 mode (see unicode_start(1))
   then the kernel expects that user program output is coded as UTF-8 (see
   utf-8(7)),   and   converts  that  to  Unicode  (ucs2).   Otherwise,  a
   translation table is used from  the  8-bit  program  output  to  16-bit
   Unicode  values.  Such  a translation table is called a Unicode console
   map.  There are four of them: three built into the kernel,  the  fourth
   settable  using  the  -m option of setfont.  An escape sequence chooses
   between these four tables; after loading a cmap,  setfont  will  output
   the escape sequence Esc ( K that makes it the active translation.

   Suitable  arguments  for  the -m option are for example 8859-1, 8859-2,
   ..., 8859-15, cp437, ..., cp1250.

   Given the Unicode value of the symbol to be displayed, the kernel finds
   the  right glyph in the font using the Unicode mapping info of the font
   and displays it.

   Old fonts do not have Unicode mapping info, and in order to handle them
   there  are  direct-to-font  maps  (also  loaded  using  -m) that give a
   correspondence between user bytes and font positions.  The most  common
   correspondence  is  the  one given in the file trivial (where user byte
   values are used directly as font positions).  Other correspondences are
   sometimes  preferable  since the PC video hardware expects line drawing
   characters in certain font positions.

   Giving a -m none argument inhibits the  loading  and  activation  of  a
   mapping  table.   The previous console map can be saved to a file using
   the -om file  option.   These  options  of  setfont  render  mapscrn(8)
   obsolete. (However, it may be useful to read that man page.)


   The correspondence between the glyphs in the font and Unicode values is
   described by a Unicode  mapping  table.   Many  fonts  have  a  Unicode
   mapping  table  included in the font file, and an explicit table can be
   indicated using the -u option. The program setfont  will  load  such  a
   Unicode mapping table, unless a -u none argument is given. The previous
   Unicode mapping table will be saved as part of the saved font file when
   the -O option is used. It can be saved to a separate file using the -ou
   file option.  These options of setfont render loadunimap(8) obsolete.

   The Unicode mapping table should assign  some  glyph  to  the  `missing
   character'   value   U+fffd,   otherwise  missing  characters  are  not
   translated, giving a usually very confusing result.

   Usually no mapping table is needed, and  a  Unicode  mapping  table  is
   already contained in the font (sometimes this is indicated by the .psfu
   extension), so that most users need not worry about the precise meaning
   and functioning of these mapping tables.

   One may add a Unicode mapping table to a psf font using psfaddtable(1).


   -h H   Override font height.

   -m file
          Load console map or Unicode console map from file.

   -o file
          Save previous font in file.

   -O file
          Save previous font and Unicode map in file.

   -om file
          Store console map in file.

   -ou file
          Save previous Unicode map in file.

   -u file
          Load Unicode table describing the font from file.

   -C console
          Set  the  font  for  the  indicated  console.  (May require root

   -v     Be verbose.

   -V     Print version and exit.


   PC video hardware allows one to  use  the  "intensity"  bit  either  to
   indicate  brightness,  or to address 512 (instead of 256) glyphs in the
   font. So, if the font has more than 256 glyphs,  the  console  will  be
   reduced to 8 (instead of 16) colors.


   /usr/share/consolefonts     is     the    default    font    directory.
   /usr/share/unimaps  is  the  default  directory   for   Unicode   maps.
   /usr/share/consoletrans  is  the default directory for screen mappings.
   The default font is a file default (or default8xN if the -N option  was
   given for some number N) perhaps with suitable extension (like .psf).


   psfaddtable(1), unicode_start(1), loadunimap(8), utf-8(7), mapscrn(8)

                              11 Feb 2001                       SETFONT(8)


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