Tibetan Editing on Linux

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Linux fully support Unicode Tibetan. Tibetan is rendered correctly by almost all Linux applications. In order to make Linux support fully functional, one needs to:

Installing fonts

Basic font installation

Sources for fonts

Img. 1: Linux font installation with Font Viewer.
  • many Debian based systems contain a package ttf-tmuni or fonts-tibetan-machine which contains Tibetan Machine Uni or fonts-noto containing Noto Sans Tibetan.
  • Get the latest DDC Uchen and Jomolhari font by Chris Fynn.
  • See Tibetan Fonts for a list of Unicode Tibetan fonts.

Simply double click a .ttf font file and select "Install font" in Font Viewer (see Img. 1)

Using the command line to install fonts

Linux users can use all fonts that work on Windows PCs. For installation simply create a new folder 'Tibetan' at /usr/share/fonts. Copy all Tibetan fonts into the folder /usr/share/fonts/Tibetan. Open a console and make sure that read permissions are given for all users for the Tibetan folder and it's content, e.g.:

chmod -R a+rx /usr/share/fonts/Tibetan

Refresh the font cache with

fc-cache -f

Restart applications that use fonts (e.g. OpenOffice).

Selecting the Default Tibetan font for your environment

The font selection is made through fontconfig which happens to be quite difficult to configure. We won't go into details in the different options, but we will present an example on which you can elaborate your own config. It selects Noto Sans Tibetan as the default Tibetan font for simple apps like Gedit, etc. but also websites. It does not affect full feature apps like LibreOffice (which has its own mechanism of default font for Tibetan script). It also shows how to magnify Tibetan text by 10% (you can skip that part if you don't need it. To make it work, save the file under ~/.conf/fontconfig/fonts.conf:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<!DOCTYPE fontconfig SYSTEM "fonts.dtd">
<fontconfig>

    <alias>
        <family>sans-serif</family>
        <prefer>
            <family>Noto Sans Tibetan</family>
	</prefer>
    </alias>

    <alias>
        <family>monospace</family>
        <prefer>
            <family>Noto Sans Tibetan</family>
	</prefer>
    </alias>

    <alias>
        <family>ui-sans</family>
        <prefer>
            <family>Noto Sans Tibetan</family>
	</prefer>
    </alias>

    <!-- add other blocks to also use Noto when the app looks for a serif font -->

    <!-- uncomment to make Noto Sans Tibetan 1.1 times bigger

    <match target="font">
        <test name="family">
            <string>Noto Sans Tibetan</string>
        </test>
        <edit name="pixelsize" mode="assign">
            <times><name>pixelsize</name>, <double>1.1</double></times>
        </edit>
    </match>-->

</fontconfig>

Tibetan Input Method

Tibetan spell checker

  • Install the hunspell-bo Debian package to get a Tibetan spell checker at syllable level, usable in all applications

See also

Internal Links

Additional information

More information