Smaller console fonts on Red Hat 7.x

Posted:

This Linux tip brought to you by Russel “Soft Mount” Jones, sysadmin to the stars.

In the old days, when a fella wanted his console font smaller than 8x16, he used to edit /etc/lilo.conf and add the line ‘vga=ext’, ./lilo and reboot. And we liked it that way!

Along comes Red Hat 7.x and its fancy system initialization scripts. The fancy dans want to support internationalization and the cost of undoing the VGA setting in lilo! What monumental insolence! However, you can foil these villians with their own weapon: setsysfont. This program is called by the init file /etc/rc.d/init.d/keytable. It uses the file /etc/sysconfig/i18n to set the default console font. Mine looks like this:

LANG=”en_US” SUPPORTED=”en_US:en” SYSFONT=”lat0-sun16” SYSFONTACM=”iso01”

The list of available console fonts is in /lib/kbd/consolefonts. It’s the third line that does the screwing: SYSFONT. Change the bastard from ‘lat0-sun16’ to good ol’ ‘lat0-08’, restart /etc/rc.d/init.d/keytable and say ‘up yours!’ to the man!

[Original use.perl.org post and comments.]