October 9

Linux Fedora 26: How To Modify The TeleTYpe (virtual) Console Terminal Font in 5 Steps (More or Less)

Teletype Model 33 ASR Teleprinter

It is rather easy to change the “graphical” terminal font and size from within a graphical environment such as Gnome:

Gnome terminal

What happens when you want to change the real TeleTYpe console terminals? Yes! The ones you access with Ctrl-Alt-F1…F6 (tty1 – tty6)! OK, maybe not tty1. The system (usually) assigns that one to the graphical environment but anyway…

I need glasses
I need glasses… :/

Suddenly, it isn’t so obvious how to do it.

So, without further ado, let me introduce you to my version on how to do this rather obscure and mystical process:

Step 1. Verify that the moon is full and that it is a clear night.

Step 2. Verify what font you want to use by visiting /usr/lib/kbd/consolefonts/

I like the Terminus font family (the ones that begin with “ter-“) but you may pick any other.

If you want to try it out before you buy, run sudo setfont *insert the font you want to try out here* without the .psf(u).gz suffix. I.e., for a terminus font size 18, you would use sudo setfont ter-918n

If you want to revert to defaults, just run sudo setfont

Have you picked your favorite already? Good. Let’s move on…

Step 3. Modify /etc/default/grub with your prefered editor. Note that you might need sudo privileges to do this.

We are looking for the line that says

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="rhgb quiet"

Comment it out and add the following line so it looks like this:

# GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="rhgb quiet"
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="rhgb quiet vconsole.font= *your favorite font* "

In my case, that last line looks like:

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="rhgb quiet vconsole.font=ter-918n"

Optional:

For extra geek points, replace rhgb quiet with text.

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="text vconsole.font= *your favorite font* "

This will replace the Fedora logo at boot start with the actual text of what is going on behind the scenes.

Step 4. Update GRUB with

sudo grub2-mkconfig --output=/boot/grub2/grub.cfg

Step 5. Go grab a cup of coffee because you finished! You should see your selected font taking over next time you boot the system.

If you want to know a bit more about the story of the teletype (a.k.a. teleprinter), you can head to Wikipedia to know more!

So, do you have any prefered Linux terminal changes? Let me know in the comments!