Jul 20, 2023

Collection of PCF fonts that include Arabic glyphs

Some popular PCF Arabic fonts created and used by the Arabic UNIX community.

In the world of FreeBSD, ports are an effective way to install and manage software. Our focus today will be on one such port — ae_fonts_mono, which is under the category of Arabic. This port offers monospaced bitmap fonts for X, and they’re particularly useful when working with Arabic scripts.

Introducing ae_fonts_mono

The ae_fonts_mono port is a collection of monospaced bitmap fonts designed specifically for X users. These fonts are primarily aimed at providing users with the flexibility and convenience of viewing and editing text that incorporates Arabic characters.

Installing ae_fonts_mono

The first step to get ae_fonts_mono up and running is to install it on your FreeBSD system. Open your terminal, navigate to the ports directory, then into the Arabic category, and finally to the ae_fonts_mono directory. Once you’re there, installation is as simple as running the ‘make install clean’ command

cd /usr/ports/arabic/ae_fonts_mono/ && make install clean

Configuring ae_fonts_mono

Once ae_fonts_mono is installed, you will need to configure your X defaults to use these fonts. This will typically involve editing your .Xdefaults or .Xresources file, and adding a line to specify ae_fonts_mono as the default font for your terminal emulator or text editor.

XTerm*font -arabeyes-fixed-medium-r-normal--14-*-*-*-*-*-iso10646-1

Then, to load your new settings, run the following command

xrdb -merge ~/.Xresources

It’s important to adjust the font size to suit your screen resolution and your eyesight!

The Otloor Library

Within the ae_fonts_mono port, there’s also the Otloor library. This is a critical tool that accurately renders Arabic text and interfaces in terminals that don’t inherently support such rendering. The Otloor library will particularly be beneficial when coding or using text applications.

Benefits of ae_fonts_mono

Arabic script requires specific fonts for proper readability, especially on screen. The default Latin-based fonts often distort the precise letter shapes of Arabic, making it difficult to read or write. The mono font library from the ae_fonts_mono port ensures that Arabic characters are rendered correctly rather than approximating the script with ill-fitting characters.

ae_fonts_mono also enhances the aesthetic quality of Arabic script on screen. By providing Arab users with a sense of cultural and linguistic representation, it promotes diversity in digital platforms. This is not just an aesthetic enhancement, but also a critical part of creating a more inclusive, global digital experience.

For developers who code in an Arab context, having readable, accurate rendering fonts that cater to their needs is a game-changer. ae_fonts_mono enriches the coding environment and makes developing Arabic software a seamless experience.

Additional Resources

To further fortify your software, you may also want to consider other FreeBSD ports such as [nmap]https// Nmap is an efficient port scanning utility, particularly useful for network analysis and security auditing.

Furthermore, the installation and utilization of the [ae_fonts_arabic]https// port can be a robust addition, especially if you’re considering software development or web design in Arabic.

Thanks to the power and flexibility of FreeBSD, users can now enjoy an enhanced, culturally diverse, user-friendly experience.

Checkout these related ports:
  • Py-hijri-converter - Hijri-Gregorian dates converter based on the Umm al-Qura calendar
  • Libreoffice -
  • Libitl - API abstraction to common Islamic calculations
  • Khotot - Meta-port for popular Arabic font packages
  • Kacst_fonts - Truetype Arabic fonts created by KACST
  • Aspell - Aspell Arabic dictionaries
  • Arabtex - TeX/LaTeX package to generate Arabic writing
  • Ae_fonts_ttf - Collection of TrueType Arabic fonts