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Unix Information

See also the 'utilities' section for more information. Most of the utilities described in that section run under Unix.

The bulk of this section was contributed by Johannes Schmidt-Fischer in Jun 1993.

Unix Font Formats

Most printers attached to Unix hosts are PostScript printers. As a consequence, most Unix users are also using PostScript fonts. If you are not using a PostScript printer, you need a front-end, like GhostScript, to convert the PostScript into a format compatible with your printer.

There is no Unix specific Postscript Type 1 format. The most often used (and most easily usable) format is Adobe's PFA format. The other often used format is PFB format. The PFB format is more compact (by about 50%), but in order to use it you need make sure that your font downloading tools are prepared to convert PFB to PFA on fly.

Postscript Type 3 fonts are no problem, they can be handled the same way as Type 1 fonts.

Most Unix tools expect to get character metric information from AFM files. You may have difficulty using fonts collected off of the 'Net if they do not include AFM files

Font Installation


It depends. (Well, what did you expect me to say? ;-)

Printer using an ExitServer

Convert PFB fonts into PFA format if necessary and then send them to printer inside a wrapper like so:

      %!PS-Adobe-2.0 ExitServer Job
      serverdict begin 0 exitserver  % 0: substitute your password
      ...                            % font in PFA-format
Or include them directly in your print job:

      ...                            % font in PFA-format
      ...                            % other initialisation
      %%Page: 1 i                    % beginning of your job...
      ...                            % ...

Excerpted from The comp.fonts FAQ, Copyright © 1992-96 by Norman Walsh