Microsoft's TrueType web fonts

Microsoft used to offer for free download a set of fonts which are commonly used on web sites (usually made with Microsoft tools), but stopped doing so. The fonts' value is probably debatable, but there is a way to still install them. They're redistributable only in their original form, which means they can't be distributed as rpm, but everyone is free to make their own rpm. The full project is at, here's a brief rundown, adjusted for SuSE Linux 8.1 + 8.2.

To be clear: the source rpm or spec file from this site do not contain the fonts. Instead, they allow anyone to create an rpm which does indeed contain the fonts with just one command. During the process of building this rpm the fonts are downloaded, extracted from their shipping container, and repacked into an rpm. It is not legal to redistribute the resulting rpm, which is why you have to make it yourself.

Prerequisites for building the msttcorefonts rpm:

To build the package, edit at least the settings for has_windows_license and distserver. Then run

    rpm -ba msttcorefonts-1.3-118.spec

This creates a source and a binary rpm. You should not run this as root, because you don't run things as root unless required (a good principle in general). The source rpm is useless (it only contains the spec file). The cabextract and wget packages are no longer needed by the fonts package. The fonts can be installed with

    rpm -Uvh msttcorefonts-1.3-118.noarch.rpm
On SuSE 9.0(1) and later, this must be
    rpmbuild -Uvh msttcorefonts-1.3-118.noarch.rpm

Actual version numbers may be slightly different.

Package versions 1.3-104 and below installed in their own directory, which required editing 2 more system files and didn't work because running SuSEconfig would destroy the font installation. Package version 1.3-105 fixes both these issues.

The new fonts are available to any X11 application. This can be tested with the MS TT Fonts Display Test Page. Your browser should show different fonts next to each of the font names. To verify, my konqueror shows it like this. xlsfonts also shows the new fonts.

This problem is fixed with the new XFree86-4.3.0-15 packages.


SuSE 8.2 / KDE 3.1.1 have a serious problem with printing, if there are truetype fonts installed with names larger than 1024 characters, causing a buffer overflow in qt. You can check this in /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/truetype/fonts.cache-1. The only solution seems to be to delete the problematic fonts:

        cd /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/truetype
        rm arial* cour* tahoma* times*


(1)The fonts can also be installed on SuSE 9.0 and later by going into yast online update and running the installation script for these fonts. However, this doesn't give an rpm to install on any number of computers.

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Copyright © 2003 by Volker Kuhlmann
Created: 07 Jan 2003, last updated: 11 October 2004         URL:
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