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The fonts more than anything else have driven me away from Linux. Once I get through the hassles of everything else working (less of a problem now that I have an external optical drive for installs), the poor font implementation kills the experience for me. Incidentally, fonts on OSX are deal killers too, so I realise I might just have too high standards for this to work, but I figure it's worth trying.

The other criteria, is I'll be looking at this for my Netbook, which has a 1024x576 screen resolution, so it'll need to have efficient vertical space use. I like what I saw from Easy Peasy screenshots, but I wasn't satisfied with Ubuntu fonts last time I used it.

If you can think of a couple good font implementations with a DE that conserves screen space, please suggest more than one. Hardware compatibility is finicky. For some reason my netbook would boot openSuSE but not Fedora, and for my brother's netbook it was the other way around, so a suggested option might just not work because I can't install it (I have no idea how this is a problem btw - Intel provides open source drivers, and it doesn't get more standard than an Atom netbook...).

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I don't have experience with any other distro apart from Ubuntu [i've used RedHat for a couple of years, but that was a long time ago]. However, font smoothing has greatly improved in Ubuntu, it's noticeable. I'll definitely recommend Ubuntu alongwith the Gnome DE (NOT Unity) and you can install your preferred font(s) and set them as the System default with gnome tweak tool, which is what I've done. I'm completely satisfied with it.

To get an idea of how the font smoothing currently is, take a look at 2 of my screenies here :

http://fc07.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2012/180/6/c/pastel_castle_by_charsibevda-d55anj4.png

http://fc06.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2012/194/6/2/solar_storm_by_charsibevda-d572alm.png

That's why I suppose Gnome 2/3 in it's current state will work for you at 1024*576 too, and the gnome tweak tool also lets you play with font smoothing/hinting options.

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You can install the MS True Type fonts if you like those. That's about all I know. Seems to be a fairly common complaint, but it doesn't bother me much when I use Linux. I use Linux Mint, but like I said, I don't really notice.

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I don't have experience with any other distro apart from Ubuntu [i've used RedHat for a couple of years, but that was a long time ago]. However, font smoothing has greatly improved in Ubuntu, it's noticeable. I'll definitely recommend Ubuntu alongwith the Gnome DE (NOT Unity) and you can install your preferred font(s) and set them as the System default with gnome tweak tool, which is what I've done. I'm completely satisfied with it.

To get an idea of how the font smoothing currently is, take a look at 2 of my screenies here :

http://fc07.devianta...vda-d55anj4.png

http://fc06.devianta...vda-d572alm.png

That's why I suppose Gnome 2/3 in it's current state will work for you at 1024*576 too, and the gnome tweak tool also lets you play with font smoothing/hinting options.

Those screen shots certainly do look as if they'd be acceptable. Any idea if Ubuntu based distros would have the same font smoothing?

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You can install the MS True Type fonts if you like those. That's about all I know. Seems to be a fairly common complaint, but it doesn't bother me much when I use Linux. I use Linux Mint, but like I said, I don't really notice.

I tried that about 6 months ago, Calibri on Linux looked way worse than Calibri on Windows. ClearType really offers something other platforms can't quite match, because it adjusts the font rendering to whatever you happen to like best.

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Those screen shots certainly do look as if they'd be acceptable. Any idea if Ubuntu based distros would have the same font smoothing?

I would assume so, unless they change the font rendering engine drastically, which seems unlikely. Is there any particular distro you're looking at/considering?

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Maybe try Elementary OS?

I'm a font fetishist, too, but better looking fonts than on a Mac might be hard to find as the presentation of fonts is one of OS X's core strengths. :/

Good luck! :)

Glassed Silver:ios

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I would assume so, unless they change the font rendering engine drastically, which seems unlikely. Is there any particular distro you're looking at/considering?

Nothing in particular. Poor use of screen real estate and poor font rendering are deal killers, along with hardware incompatibility, so given that I'll try anything that works. Although what I'd really like is a UI paradigm that doesn't follow Windows. Whenever Linux chases after Windows it's never as good, or at least not the current version. By the looks of it, KDE and LXDE are now better than Vista, but still don't match up to 7 (rather like OpenOffice is better than Office 2003 but still has problems stacking up to 2010). So if the UI ends up being something just totally different so there isn't even a comparison I'd like that.

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Maybe try Elementary OS?

I'm a font fetishist, too, but better looking fonts than on a Mac might be hard to find as the presentation of fonts is one of OS X's core strengths. :/

Good luck! :)

Glassed Silver:ios

OSX's on screen font rendering isn't that great for my eyes. It seems to be targeted more for printing, which I accept as a valid implementation, but that doesn't help me when I haven't used a printer in years.

Edit: I just took a look at Elementary, and I'm definitely intrigued. Obvious OSX clone, but with Luna the application launcher in the top left corner is a really nice throwback to Classic with app aliases in the Apple Menu. The inability to place the application folder on the edge of the dock (nor Launchpad) and the elimination of the apple menu has irked me about OSX since well... 10.0...

The full screen window element intrigues me, but not a single video shows how it's used. Does it work similar to Lion? Ie, double swipe at the bottom to bring up the dock, or something similarly useful for easy multitasking while full screen?

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http://www.fuduntu.org concentrates on the aesthetic side, however linux is linux and time permitting, what you can achieve in one distro should be replicable in all.
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http://www.fuduntu.org concentrates on the aesthetic side, however linux is linux and time permitting, what you can achieve in one distro should be replicable in all.

Still coming out of the shell eh? There's no much info on their website :-)

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I think this is what you're after. It does improve font rendering quite a bit. Although my eyes probably aren't the best judge as my eyesight is admittedly quite poor.

On Arch, it's in the AUR I believe.

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There's the dejavu font set, there's google's fontset too (which is MASSIVE), you can legally use the XP fonts with linux if you own XP and you're legally allowed to extract the windows 7 fonts and use them too if you own an ISO/DVD/CD of windows 7.

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Nothing in particular. Poor use of screen real estate and poor font rendering are deal killers, along with hardware incompatibility, so given that I'll try anything that works. Although what I'd really like is a UI paradigm that doesn't follow Windows. Whenever Linux chases after Windows it's never as good, or at least not the current version. By the looks of it, KDE and LXDE are now better than Vista, but still don't match up to 7 (rather like OpenOffice is better than Office 2003 but still has problems stacking up to 2010). So if the UI ends up being something just totally different so there isn't even a comparison I'd like that.

I know where you're coming from. You can give Arch Linux a shot if you'd like *absolute* control over what goes in there and how it's set up. Else I can recommend Ubuntu 12.04 with Gnome 2/3. It's pretty minimal (with Gnome, that is) screen estate usage wise, and you can install AWN to have a dock @ the bottom with your most used apps. The dock can be set to 'Intellihide' mode, which hides it whenever you're running any app fullscreen and pops up when you move your cursor to the bottom.

If you want, I'll link you up to the Gnome shell theme + GTK 3 I'musing so you can achieve the same clean and uncluttered aesthetic. That, and gnome-tweak-tool will get the job done for you with whichever custom fonts you settle for.

And finally, I agree with 08993, what you can achieve in one distro can be had on any other distro as well.

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I don't have experience with any other distro apart from Ubuntu [i've used RedHat for a couple of years, but that was a long time ago]. However, font smoothing has greatly improved in Ubuntu, it's noticeable. I'll definitely recommend Ubuntu alongwith the Gnome DE (NOT Unity) and you can install your preferred font(s) and set them as the System default with gnome tweak tool, which is what I've done. I'm completely satisfied with it.

To get an idea of how the font smoothing currently is, take a look at 2 of my screenies here :

http://fc07.devianta...vda-d55anj4.png

http://fc06.devianta...vda-d572alm.png

That's why I suppose Gnome 2/3 in it's current state will work for you at 1024*576 too, and the gnome tweak tool also lets you play with font smoothing/hinting options.

Now where have I seen that look before? ...

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Now where have I seen that look before? ...

It's the Elementary Lion Gnome Shell theme by DzaDze and Adawaita Cupertino GTK3 mod, also by Dzadze.

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Have you tried ubuntu yet? Ubuntu has some of the best linux font rendering out of the box IMO, and its also great with vertical screen space because of the global menus and how maximized windows integrate with the top panel. Fedora and Suse (the distros you mentioned in your op) are known for poor font rendering out of the box. Generally ubuntu and ubuntu based distros have decent rendering.

You could also try fuduntu, its a netbook oriented distro based on fedora which uses the infinality font rendering patches out of the box (gives very windows 7-like font rendering):

http://www.fuduntu.org/

The infinality patches can also easily be installed on fedora (there is a repo for it) and I believe opensuse as well:

http://www.infinality.net/blog/

Here's a screenshot of my arch desktop using infinality:

http://www.neowin.ne...ttach_id=313925

And fedora 17 with infinality:

http://www.neowin.ne...ttach_id=313273

Also here's some screenshots of ubuntu's default rendering:

http://i.imgur.com/jg88W.png

http://i.imgur.com/UxhiM.png

http://i.imgur.com/WdYBj.png

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Ubuntu .. and its also great with vertical screen space because of the global menus and how maximized windows integrate with the top panel.

Just to add to this, I believe Gnome 3 also has an extension that does almost the same thing. It really does save a fair bit of vertical screen space.

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Try the in finality font patches. They improve Linux's font rendering by miles.

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I know where you're coming from. You can give Arch Linux a shot if you'd like *absolute* control over what goes in there and how it's set up. Else I can recommend Ubuntu 12.04 with Gnome 2/3. It's pretty minimal (with Gnome, that is) screen estate usage wise, and you can install AWN to have a dock @ the bottom with your most used apps. The dock can be set to 'Intellihide' mode, which hides it whenever you're running any app fullscreen and pops up when you move your cursor to the bottom.

If you want, I'll link you up to the Gnome shell theme + GTK 3 I'musing so you can achieve the same clean and uncluttered aesthetic. That, and gnome-tweak-tool will get the job done for you with whichever custom fonts you settle for.

And finally, I agree with 08993, what you can achieve in one distro can be had on any other distro as well.

I actually tried Gnome3 when it came out (openSuSE in this case), and for the most part I really liked it, but some of the control windows popped up requiring 600 vertical pixels instead of the 576 I had. As if the devs had forgot to consider supporting all resolutions instead of setting a minimum one). Is there actually a fix for that, or a way to manually resize every window even if the devs thought that the window shouldn't be resized?

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Have you tried ubuntu yet? Ubuntu has some of the best linux font rendering out of the box IMO, and its also great with vertical screen space because of the global menus and how maximized windows integrate with the top panel. Fedora and Suse (the distros you mentioned in your op) are known for poor font rendering out of the box. Generally ubuntu and ubuntu based distros have decent rendering.

You could also try fuduntu, its a netbook oriented distro based on fedora which uses the infinality font rendering patches out of the box (gives very windows 7-like font rendering):

http://www.fuduntu.org/

The infinality patches can also easily be installed on fedora (there is a repo for it) and I believe opensuse as well:

http://www.infinality.net/blog/

Here's a screenshot of my arch desktop using infinality:

http://www.neowin.ne...ttach_id=313925

And fedora 17 with infinality:

http://www.neowin.ne...ttach_id=313273

Also here's some screenshots of ubuntu's default rendering:

http://i.imgur.com/jg88W.png

http://i.imgur.com/UxhiM.png

http://i.imgur.com/WdYBj.png

Thanks, that's very useful. To my eye the infinality patches look just a bit better than Ubuntu default rendering, although I doubt I could put my finger on specifically what it is (no matter, I only need to know for me that it looks subjectively better than something else).

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Just to add to this, I believe Gnome 3 also has an extension that does almost the same thing. It really does save a fair bit of vertical screen space.

Nice, I've definitely been liking when I see that in a distro review. One question though, with Chromium, do the tabs end up sitting in the top panel?

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Does that Gnome 3 extension have a Gnome 2.32 equivalent? I'm seeing a lack of integrating the title bar with the top panel in the Fuduntu videos I've seen.

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It's interesting how vocal the GNU/NIX customization talk has become due to the downfall of Windows customization. Hmmm...

Glassed Silver:mac

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