Setting in /etc/fonts/conf.avail/56-kubuntu-noto.conf causes Arimo font to be rendered weirdly in Firefox

Bug #1872492 reported by Jan Rathmann
This bug affects 7 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
kubuntu-settings (Ubuntu)

Bug Description


I discovered that the font Arimo from the package fonts-croscore is rendered in weird way in Firefox.

Steps to reproduce:

- On Kubuntu Focal install package fonts-croscore
- Open a website that has text where Arimo gets chosen as font (Arimo seems to be considered as the default font for sans-serif text by Firefox when it is installed)
- The text looks a bit weird an ugly (at least to me)
- Compare the text in Firefox with the same text in LibreOffice Writer (choose Arimo as font)

In other applications as Firefox (e.g. LibreOffice, KDE Font Viewer, Chromium) Arimo looks exactly the same as the font Liberation Sans.

I managed to track this down - since the font is rendered correctly in Firefox on Ubuntu with Gnome desktop, I looked for Kubuntu specific font settings and found out that the following passage in /etc/fonts/conf.avail/56-kubuntu-noto.conf is responsible for the bad rendering:

<match target="font">
    <!-- Turn on BCI (turn off autohint) for Arimo -->
    <test name="family"><string>Arimo</string></test>
    <edit name="hinting" mode="assign"><bool>true</bool></edit>
    <edit name="hintstyle" mode="assign"><const>hintfull</const></edit>
    <edit name="autohint" mode="assign"><bool>false</bool></edit>

If I comment this out, then Firefox renders text in Arimo correctly like all other applications.

I have attached two screenshots that compare the rendering in Firefox with default settings and with the respective passage in /etc/fonts/conf.avail/56-kubuntu-noto.conf commented out.

Kind regards,

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 20.04
Package: kubuntu-settings-desktop 1:20.04.8
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 5.4.0-21.25-generic 5.4.27
Uname: Linux 5.4.0-21-generic x86_64
ApportVersion: 2.20.11-0ubuntu26
Architecture: amd64
CasperMD5CheckResult: skip
CurrentDesktop: KDE
Date: Mon Apr 13 17:19:21 2020
InstallationDate: Installed on 2020-04-08 (5 days ago)
InstallationMedia: Kubuntu 20.04 LTS "Focal Fossa" - Beta amd64 (20200408)
PackageArchitecture: all
SourcePackage: kubuntu-settings
UpgradeStatus: No upgrade log present (probably fresh install)

Revision history for this message
Jan Rathmann (kaiserclaudius) wrote :
Revision history for this message
Jan Rathmann (kaiserclaudius) wrote :
description: updated
Revision history for this message
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in kubuntu-settings (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Revision history for this message
Matteo Italia (matteo-mitalia) wrote :

This is still a problem; the aforementioned file ruins fonts rendering in Firefox in many common sites (Twitter, Gitlab, many Google sites). The easiest fix for me was to remove the /etc/fonts/conf.d/56-kubuntu-noto.conf symlink completely, and add it to dpkg excludes, putting

# Ignore defective kubuntu fontconfig directives

in a file under /etc/dpkg/dpkg.cfg.d.

Please fix this ASAP, it greatly degrades the browsing experience.

Revision history for this message
Matteo Italia (matteo-mitalia) wrote :

But more in general, I think that kubuntu-settings shipping system-wide font hinting overrides to fonts used by a ton of applications/sites deeply wrong. IDK what you wanted to accomplish here, but that's not the way nor the right package.

Revision history for this message
Jani Jaakkola (jj-lousa) wrote :

I agree with Matteo Italia. Some of my users do use KDE desktop, but setting global system wide fonts settings (wrong) for other Desktop users is not the way to do KDE settings. If I just remove this file completely, I think the system will just work better, even for KDE users.

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