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Free your fonts

RedHat has released an initial version of a set of serif, sans-serif and monospaced fonts with exactly the same metrics as the (non-free) Microsoft Times, Arial and Courier fonts, which implies those fonts can serve as a drop-in replacement. The font family is named Liberation.

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More information can be found in this RedHat press release about Liberation fonts. Alternatively, go to the download page to get the font files. Extract them somewhere into your ~/.fonts/ directory.

If you want to fool applications into showing Liberation whenever they ask for one of the non-free Microsoft fonts, you may add some configuration snippets to you ~/.fonts.conf file. For your convenience, I’ve put an example Liberation fontconfig snippet online.

Oh, that reminds me… I should really contact some translators to ask for updates and release Gnome Specimen 0.2.

Update: It seems Pascal de Bruijn made a Ubuntu Liberation font package (might also work on Debian).