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James Duncan Davidson has a post titled Bitstream Vera Sans Mono, where he explains his font choices for working at the Mac OS X Terminal. That post has triggered some suggestions from other folks, so if you’ve been itching for something other than 10pt Monaco, check it out – Bitstream Vera Sans Mono

Brian Jepson

I’m a tinkerer and finally reached the point where I fix more things than I break. When I’m not tinkering, I’m probably editing a book for Maker Media.



  1. Emrikol says:

    I love Consolas. I think it’s part of Vista/Office 2K7?

  2. slackorama says:

    Hmm, i tried this font in cygwin (rxvt) and the spacing was very wonky. Might be another setting in my mondo .Xdefaults file though.

  3. Unomi says:

    I’ve found Proggy and Opti pretty good ‘terminal’ fonts.

    But I use them too for programming or any other place where clear fonts are welcome.

    - Unomi -

  4. ScrappyLaptop says:

    Anyone know of a ‘nostalgic font’, that matches the one that was built into the character generator of the IBM or Hercules monochrome cards? They were amazingly readable once your brain learned the letters (i.e., the slashed zero, non-dropped tails, etc.); I’ve found a reduction in fatigue when having to go back and use the authentic ones. Second best: a favorite font editor?

  5. Noah says:

    Tonight, I am the happiest I have been since raw VGA modes all of 10 years ago. I have just configured with ProFont, with some reduced character spacing and highly tweaked colors for even weighting (via TerminalColors on Tiger). Add in Vim with my custom color file, a fresh cup of coffee, and my 42″ 1080p, and I’m in a *very* good mood.

    Nothing against Monaco or BVSM — both nice fonts… but this is really on a completely different level on a black background.

  6. Hal says:

    If you like the Bitstream family, take a look at DejaVu.
    It’s an extension of Bitstream, and has significantly greater Unicode coverage.
    If you don’t really care about that, I’ve found that Liberation Mono has slightly better hinting.

    For actual terminal use, I prefer to use a smaller bitmap font, Schumacher Clean.
    If you prefer something a bit larger, but still like bitmap fonts, check out GNU Unifont.

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