wine font changes system look and feel

Kamil Paral kparal at
Mon Jun 4 09:04:25 UTC 2012

> I'd like to brought to wider attention the bug
> What's the matter?
> If you install wine, it brings as a dependency wine-tahoma font, that
> is
> then included in system wide fonts list. This causes the font to be
> used
> by applications like Firefox when pages require tahoma. As the font
> is
> badly looking, it makes many things to look terrible.
> Some of us think, this font should be made specific for the wine
> application and not used system wide as it breaks the look and feel
> of too
> many things.
> Please make your voice to be heard on that.
> Adam Pribyl

Adam, it might be better to cross-post this also to devel@ list, doing that now.

I believe there are a few good engineering practices that every software should keep. One of them is that installing one application should not have detrimental effects to another application. That is violated here. Installing wine brings broken fonts (Tahoma, maybe some others) into the system and then have detrimental effects on font rendering in web applications. We should do something about it.

It is unfortunate that wine package maintainer doesn't want to discuss this issue any further. To some extent, he is even right. Wine depends on a font and fonts are installed into system-wide directories. Web pages request that font. End of story. But the reality is not perfect and often we have to do compromises. This is another obstacle presented by Microsoft to the opensource world and we can't simply insist on that "one and only correct solution". Because we know Tahoma rendering looks better on Windows and furthermore the web pages don't use it at all, it's just a fallback for some other font present in Windows but not in Linux.

Our excuse is that there is a README in wine-tahoma-fonts package documenting how to blacklist it if you don't want it. Yes, but that doesn't help. We need Fedora to look good by default. I have heard several people saying "Fonts are ugly in Fedora, I'll rather use Ubuntu instead". And guess what, Ubuntu has made these broken wine fonts wine-specific, so that they are used in wine but not in other system applications. You might disagree with their other endeavors, but they care about their user-base. Putting some info in a README is good for hackers, but it is useless for end-users.

I believe the best solution here is to make Tahoma (and maybe some other fonts that are rendered horribly) a wine-specific font. Then add a README how to make those fonts available for all applications, if someone ever needs that. Or we can create a separate package for system-wide installation. This way we will have reasonable defaults and more happy users.

Anyone, if you have a better suggestion how to solve this problem, please be heard. The desirable outcome is:
1. Wine is installed
2. Web page rendering looks pretty (no bitmap fonts)
3. No manual steps are needed

Comments welcome.

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