How to install:

Installing Microsoft's TrueType core fonts for the web on any rpm based linux box with TrueType support is now easy. The instructions below have been tested on various Red Hat and Fedora Core systems, but they are fairly generic so they should apply to any redhat-like linux distribution, such as mandrake or yellowdog. If you are running debian, please have a look here. If you are running suse, please have a look here.

  1. Make sure you have the following rpm-packages installed from from your favourite distribution. Any version should do.
    • rpm-build
    • wget
    • A package that provides the ttmkfdir utility. For example
      • For Fedora Core and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4, ttmkfdir
      • For old redhat releases, XFree86-font-utils
      • For mandrake-8.2, freetype-tools
  2. Install the cabextract utility. For users of Fedora Core it is available from extras. Others may want to compile it themselves from source, or download the source rpm from fedora extras and rebuild.
  3. Download the latest msttcorefonts spec file from here
  4. If you haven't done so already, set up an rpm build environment in your home directory. You can to this by adding the line %_topdir %(echo $HOME)/rpmbuild to your $HOME/.rpmmacros and create the directories $HOME/rpmbuild/BUILD and $HOME/rpmbuild/RPMS/noarch
  5. Build the binary rpm with this command:
    • $ rpmbuild -bb msttcorefonts-2.5-1.spec
    • This will download the fonts from a Sourcforge mirror (about 8 megs) and repackage them so that they can be easily installed.
  6. Install the newly built rpm using the following command (you will need to be root):

* # rpm -ivh $HOME/rpmbuild/RPMS/noarch/msttcorefonts-2.5-1.noarch.rpm 7. You might need to reload the X font server. Normally this is done as a part of the installation process (this is done by chkfontpath). However in some situations it seems like you need to reload or restart the font server manually. I am told that the last argument needs to be restart and not reload on Mandrake 9.0 * # /sbin/service xfs reload * A bug in RedHat 8.0 makes the X server lose the connection to the font server if the font server is restarted instead of reloaded. That will cause assorted strange behaviour (changed fonts in newly opened applications, applications hanging). Logging out and logging in again will solve the problems, or just use 'reload' instead of 'restart'. 8. Enjoy your new high quality fonts. To verify that the installation succeeded, please use the command 'xlsfonts | grep ^-microsoft'. You should see a whole lot of microsoft font names there. Please note that you need to restart all programs that you want to make aware of the new fonts. Note also that not all fonts have 'microsoft' in their name, some of them will be from 'monotype' instead.


  • Does not distribute Microsoft's fonts in a prohibited way (to the best of my knowledge that is)
  • Doesn't bypass the rpm database like other font install scripts