Ubuntu-Pakistan Unicode Font Guide For Free/Libre Open Source Operating Systems

Fouad Riaz Bajwa bajwa at fossfp.org
Thu Aug 24 09:07:37 BST 2006

Unicode Font Guide For Free/Libre Open Source Operating Systems


Special thanks to Ed Trager and Ann Arbor for their contributions to the
FOSS Movement

Source: http://www.unifont.org/fontguide/


Unicode Font Guide For Free/Libre Open Source Operating Systems is a
selective guide to Unicode-based fonts and script projects that are ideal
for free/libre/open source (FLOSS) operating systems like GNU/Linux and

The project includes those fonts only that: 

1. Contain Unicode CMAPs for mapping Unicode values to glyphs. 

2. Can be downloaded and used legally for free. 

3. Preference is given to high-quality vector fonts that have been released 
under SIL International's Open Font License (OFL), the Free Software
Foundation's GNU General Public License (GPL), and similarly open licenses. 

4. Also included are other important Unicode fonts, including a few notable
shareware fonts where the authors request payment of a fee after an initial
free evaluation. 

Although the focus of the project is on vector fonts that would work well on
free operating systems, the fonts presented will also work well on
Unicode-capable Windows operating systems (Windows 2000 and XP) and on Apple

Also worth noting is that other, more extensive online font guides do exist.
In particular Alan Wood's "Unicode fonts for Windows computers" is an
extensive resource which covers commercial, shareware, and free fonts. In
contrast to Mr. Wood's site, this project focuses on Open Source,
non-governmental organization (NGO), and government-sponsored font and
script initiatives that aim to facilitate computing in national and
indigenous languages throughout the world. 

Some of the included font projects provide numerous fonts. An effort has
been made to include images of a representative sample of the available
fonts. For many of the sample font images, the project has made use of the
first article of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights
(UDHR) which has been translated into hundreds of languages. If anyone wants
to compare translations of just the first article, they can try Xavier
Nègre's excellent déclaration universelle des droits de l'homme page at

Instructions on installing these fonts on GNU/Linux and similar free
operating systems are provided on the project's main Unicode page. It is
worth noting that many fonts are packaged in .zip files for the convenience
of Windows users. Under free Unices, just use the unzip utility from your
terminal. Some fonts are packaged in self-extracting .exe packages for
Windows. Here again one may simply use the unzip utility since the .exe
basically consists of a short executable stub with the zipped font files
attached to it. 

A new tool for the impatient
If today anyone is feeling impatient and wishes to just download all the
fonts referenced on this site while blithely sipping their coffee or tea --
well, they can almost do just that by using a simple shell script on the
link provided. The script will attempt to download the vast majority of
fonts referenced on this site. The script requires that one has the wget,
tar, and unzip utilities, as well as the fontforge font editor. The script
will download font files to a fonts subdirectory under the current working
directory. Everyone can try it! 

The project complements and appreciates support by Ritu Khanna and Monisha
Sharma for their generous help with testing and preparing the Indic font
samples which appear in the South Asian section of the project guide.
The authors may be contacted at 
<ed dot trager at gmail dot com> 

Fouad Riaz Bajwa
General Secretary - FOSS Advocate
FOSSFP: Free & Open Source Software Foundation of Pakistan ® Secretariat
Office of the General Secretary
E-Mail: bajwa at fossfp.org
URL: www.fossfp.org ; www.ubuntu-pk.org
This e-mail message is intended for its recipient only. If you have received
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FOSSFP: Free and Open Source Software Foundation of Pakistan (R) takes no
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