fnteditfs: A seemingly rare beast

Oddly, in all of the last 10 years of kicking through the Linux software fields, I only recall seeing one editor specific to console fonts. That, to me, makes fnteditfs a rarity. The fact that it’s included in Arch but not in Debian (that I could find) makes it all the more unusual to me.

2015-01-05-jsgqk71-fnteditfs

In situations like this, where something appears in Arch but not Debian, I usually blame licensing issues. I don’t know all the ins and outs of what appears in Debian or Arch, or how it applies to fnteditfs, but I like to think that’s the issue.

Regardless, fnteditfs (which appears as fonteditfs in Community, but executes as fnteditfs:\ ) seems to be up to the task of editing, saving and loading font files, as you can see above. Such was not the case with fonter, as I remember it from years ago.

Some functions are lost to fnteditfs in its Linux rendition, which I mostly know because the home page says so. If you try to apply your edited font to the current terminal, you’ll get a reminder of that fact. Of course, it doesn’t prevent you from using setfont to change it though.

fnteditfs also seems to lack the ability to decompress font files before editing them, but won’t warn you of that fact. You can load a gzipped font file straight out of your /usr/share/kbd/consolefonts/ directory if you like, but the displayed characters will be garbled. Decompress it and try again, and it should appear correctly.

I’m also a little confused by what fnteditfs shows as a displayed character, since there seem to be times when two or three characters are visible in the edit window. I don’t have much experience editing fonts though, so perhaps I am causing this peculiarity.

All those points aside, fnteditfs is quite easy to use — all its major commands are listed on the screen, navigation is with arrow keys and blocks toggle with the spacebar. Easy as pie.

I don’t see many new console fonts, and an editor seems even more rare. If there are active Linux console font designers out there in the world, I don’t know where they are or what editor they prefer.

And if you want to know, the capital letter R in the screenshot comes from the ledfont in fonter’s source code. Jam that into your favorite roguelike and really go wild.😉

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