Linux Console Fonts from The ZAP Group

Welcome to the Linux Console Fonts from The ZAP Group package website, where you can download custom font files for your Linux console, view codecharts and screenshots of those fonts in action and read about the fonts themselves.

Screenshot of zap-ext-light18 in action


The current release of the Linux Console Fonts from The ZAP Group package is version 2.3 [112KB; GnuPG signature]. You may download the source code, as well as difference files, from the FTP repository for this package. Full installation instructions are available.

You may look at the source code of this package, download a read-only copy of the Git repository or browse the source code history.

About the fonts

The Linux Console Fonts from The ZAP Group package contains two varieties of Linux console fonts: one set that mimics the traditional VGA fonts, and a second that provides a lighter, easier to read look. Both font varieties contain a somewhat more useful set of characters than traditional console fonts, and are available in versions with either 256 or 512 glyphs.

The following font files contain 256 glyphs:

The following extended font files contain 512 glyphs:

To use one of these fonts on your Linux console, please follow the installation instructions in the package’s README file.

Note that the 10×20 and 10×24 versions of these fonts can be displayed on framebuffer-style consoles only; traditional VGA consoles can only display fonts that are eight pixels wide.

Traditional VGA-style video hardware uses a single bit to indicate either colour intensity or the presence of a 512-glyph font. Thus, on such VGA consoles, using such an extended font will reduce the number of colours that can be displayed, from 16 down to 8. Using a 256-glyph font will allow the use of all 16 colours. Framebuffer-style consoles do not have this limitation.

Unicode coverage

All fonts in this package contain an extensive Unicode mapping table that covers as many European languages as possible. Fonts containing 256 glyphs cover the following single-byte encodings (code pages):

In addition to these encodings, fonts containing 512 glyphs also cover:

Also included in all 256 and 512-glyph fonts are special VT100 characters used by Curses, including box drawing glyphs, and various symbols used in typography.


The following screenshots were generated by the psftx-sampler and psftx-screenshot utility programs supplied with this font package:

Fonts with 256 glyphs

Screenshot of zap-vga09 in action
Screenshot of zap-vga16 in action
Screenshot of zap-light16 in action
Screenshot of zap-light18 in action
Screenshot of zap-light20 in action
Screenshot of zap-light24 in action

Fonts with 512 glyphs

Screenshot of zap-ext-vga09 in action
Screenshot of zap-ext-vga16 in action
Screenshot of zap-ext-light16 in action
Screenshot of zap-ext-light18 in action
Screenshot of zap-ext-light20 in action
Screenshot of zap-ext-light24 in action

Please note that these screenshots may be too large to display in your web browser without being scaled down.


The following PDF codecharts were generated by the psftx-codechart utility program supplied with this font package:

Font filename Normal size
(Glyphs per page)
Large size
(Glyphs per page)
Huge size
(Glyphs per page)
zap-vga09.psf [PDF] 16×16 [PDF] 8×8 [PDF] 4×4
zap-vga16.psf [PDF] 16×16 [PDF] 8×8 [PDF] 4×4
zap-light16.psf [PDF] 16×16 [PDF] 8×8 [PDF] 4×4
zap-light18.psf [PDF] 16×16 [PDF] 8×8 [PDF] 4×4
zap-light20.psf [PDF] 16×16 [PDF] 8×8 [PDF] 4×4
zap-light24.psf [PDF] 16×16 [PDF] 8×8 [PDF] 4×4
zap-ext-vga09.psf [PDF] 16×16 [PDF] 8×8 [PDF] 4×4
zap-ext-vga16.psf [PDF] 16×16 [PDF] 8×8 [PDF] 4×4
zap-ext-light16.psf [PDF] 16×16 [PDF] 8×8 [PDF] 4×4
zap-ext-light18.psf [PDF] 16×16 [PDF] 8×8 [PDF] 4×4
zap-ext-light20.psf [PDF] 16×16 [PDF] 8×8 [PDF] 4×4
zap-ext-light24.psf [PDF] 16×16 [PDF] 8×8 [PDF] 4×4

Glyph designs

The VGA fonts zap-vga09, zap-vga16, zap-ext-vga09 and zap-ext-vga16 were inspired by the traditional VGA glyphs that are found in the kbd package, in the files default8x9.psfu and default8x16.psfu respectively. However, many glyphs have been tweaked in some way, particularly the digit zero, many symbols and most uppercase accented letters. In addition, the traditional fonts do not contain the glyphs needed for The ZAP Group fonts, so additional glyphs were designed in the VGA style.

The VGA fonts are designed to work with both traditional VGA consoles, in which eight-pixel-wide glyphs are displayed in a 9-pixel-wide cell, and in newer framebuffer-style consoles, which use a character cell width the same as the font.

The zap-light16 and zap-ext-light16 fonts were inspired by the GNU Unifont project, as released in the X11 font file unifont.pcf; this font has the XFLD -gnu-unifont-medium-r-normal-sans-16-*-*-*-c-*-iso10646-1. However, similar to the VGA fonts, every glyph has been modified in some way; the font baseline, in particular, is one pixel higher. In addition, the digits zero and seven, all lowercase letters with descenders or ascenders and many symbols have also been tweaked for greater clarity.

The zap-light18 and zap-ext-light18 fonts were derived from zap-light16 / zap-ext-light16, with one additional row of pixels above and one below; accents on capital letters were shifted one pixel higher. The effect is to give an extra 12.5% space (called leading) between rows of text.

The zap-light20 and zap-ext-light20 fonts were inspired by the 10×20 font that is distributed as part of X11 in the file 10x20.pcf.gz; this font has the X11 XFLD -misc-fixed-medium-r-normal--20-*-*-*-c-*-iso10646-1. Once again, however, most glyphs have been modified; all lowercase letters, for example, are one pixel taller, many symbols have been redesigned and the position of many accents has been tweaked.

Finally, the zap-light24 and zap-ext-light24 fonts were derived from zap-light20 and zap-ext-light20: these include an extra two pixels above and two pixels below each glyph, giving it an extra 20% leading between rows of text. Descenders on lowercase letters have been lengthened to use this additional space; capital letters with accents are now full-size, with one more pixel between the letter and the accent.


Your comments, suggestions, corrections and enhancements are always warmly welcomed! Please send these to:

Postal: John Zaitseff,
The ZAP Group,
Unit 6, 116 Woodburn Road,
Berala, NSW, 2141,

Copyright © 2004–19, John Zaitseff.

The Linux Console Fonts package is free software that is distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License. You can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of that License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 or (at your option) any later version.

This font package is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.