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Bengali Fonts Mini HOWTO

There are more than enough well written HOWTOs out there to deal with fonts in Linux. The purpose of this HOWTO, however, is to put together a small document that describes anything and everything needed to work with Bengali fonts in Linux.

Fonts from "Free Bangla Fonts Project"

Even though there are quite a few Bengali fonts available from different sources, this HOWTO will mainly focus on installing and using fonts provided by Free Bangla Fonts Project (FBFP).

Installing using the rpm package

If you are a rpm [read: RedHat %#$!@] user the easiest way to install the fonts from FBFP is by using the rpm package. The rpm package can be downloaded from here or here. Just install the rpm package as you would do for any other rpm pacakge.

Installing using individual font file

If you can not or do not want to use the rpm package, there is always the good old tgz packages. Remember that you should have root privilege when you execute the commands mentioned here.

Download the files you want to install from here. Note that you will find several different tgz packages in FBFP. Each of them contain different font faces, i.e. they all look different from one another. Once you have downloaded all the packages you want, extract all the .ttf file(s). Basically run the following command on each .tgz or .tar.gz file you have downloaded.

   tar -zxvf your_font_package.tar.gz 

This will create a new directory that will contain different files that comes with the font package. We are only interested about the .ttf files.

Create a new directory where you want to install these fonts. For rest of this document we will assume we are installing the fonts in:


Copy the .ttf files we just extracted in to this directory, and execute the following commands:
> cd /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/bengali
> ttmkfdir
> mkfontdir
> chkfontpath -q -a /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/bengali

Now we will add the new directory to fontconfig configuration. Usually this configuration file is in /etc/fonts/fonts.conf. Open this file with you choice of text editor and look for the part that looks somewhat like shown below:


Add the line <dir>/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/bengali</dir> so that now it looks something like this:


After you save the file execute the following command:

> fc-cache

If you have GNOME print library (libgnomeprint) installed, then execute the following command:

> (cd /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/bengali ; libgnomeprint-2.0-font-install --dynamic .)

That should be it! If you have any problem, please let us know.


Thanks to everyone at Free Bangla Fonts Project for the dedicated work. Special thanks to Santanu Chatterjee for his contribution towards this howto.

This project is hosted by SourceForge Logo

Copyright (c) 2002, Taneem Ahmed <>