Tag Archives: FontForge

Install working version of FontForge on Ubuntu 11.10

The version of FontForge currently available from the Ubuntu repositories is unusable with Ubuntu 11.10. The bug and the solution is described here. It seems that FontForge has been fixed to work with 11.10, but that the Ubuntu repositories have not been updated. Version 20110225 works; the older version 20100429 in the repository doesn’t.

Aleksandr’s solution works:

  1. Uninstall the old FontForge package (using Synpatic or whatever).
  2. Install git and python-dev if they are not already installed.
  3. Download and compile FontForge from source:
    Open a terminal screen, and enter the following lines:
    git clone git://fontforge.git.sourceforge.net/gitroot/fontforge/fontforge.
    That downloads the source code for the latest version.
    cd fontforge
    That moves you into the directory where the FontForge files have just landed.
    ./configure
    sudo make install
    That compiles FontForge. The executable was at ~/fontforge/fontforge/fontforge. Change the permissions to run it without sudo.

Ubuntu 11.10 misery

You persuade yourself, and anyone who will listen, that migrating to Ubuntu Linux was a smart move – it’s free, you have control, it doesn’t try and sell you things or manipulate you, it has a short boot-time, you learn more, it isn’t targeted by viruses and malware, it doesn’t use grasping and possessive infantilisms like “My Computer” and “My Music”, it’s fun, you aren’t tortured by shut-down screens that say “Do not unplug or power off your machine – installing updates” that stay there for indefinitely long periods when you need to leave the office with your laptop in five minutes’ time, etc. etc.

Then you upgrade to Ubuntu 11.10…

You can forgive the slightly kindergarten feel of the “Dash”. You reinstall the stuff that gives you back the control you miss from earlier versions. You acknowledge that it actually looks and feels pretty good, and works pretty well.

Then you realise that it cannot, will not, declines to, refuses to, print to your HP LaserJet 1200, which worked just fine with the previous version. You can’t print anything at all! Then you install FontForge, which worked on previous versions, and find that it pulls a segmentation fault whenever you do anything drastic like press the Shift key.

I’m going to start here and here. If they are not both fixed in 24 hrs, I am officially no longer a fan.