New TrueType fonts in Debian

I had a font I needed to install to make some graphics for a web project. It was easy enough to buy the font – I just chose the option for the TrueType file (TTF) and I knew I’d be fine. I had a little trouble getting the font to show up though, so I record my efforts here.

  1. Put the TTF files (there’s usually three) in their own subdirectory of /usr/share/fonts/truetype.
  2. As root, run these two commands in the new subdirectory: mkfontscale and mkfontdir
  3. Check to see if the font is installed: run xlsfonts and see if your font is there
  4. If you don’t see your font, start Googling, but perhaps start here.

Cloning your Debian Install

Sometimes you need to reinstall a Debian system. Maybe your hard drive is going pear-shaped, maybe you got a new computer, maybe you are replicating a system, maybe you are building a lab. In any case, if you want all the packages that are installed on system 1 on your new/other system 2, here’s an easy way:

  1. On system 1, make a file with your installed/removed packages: dpkg --get-selections > packages.txt
  2. Get a base install done on system 2, and set /etc/apt/sources.list to be the same as on system 1
  3. Get packages.txt onto system 2
  4. Run dpkg --set-selections < packages.txt on system 2
  5. Run dselect install on system 2
  6. Optional: Dance

screen Sulks

Occasionally I put my screen session into a state that I call sulking – it refuses to take new input. This happens in two ways – one, my screen session gets fired into the background, and I left with the message [1]+ Stopped screen; the other seems to lock the screen from showing me any input. In the second state I can navigate among screen sessions, and create new instances, but not type.

After much thrashing about, I learned that when I hit C-a z (Control a, z) I put the session in the background, and it can be returned with the command fg. Similarly, if I hit C-a s I have locked the session to input, and to return it I need to hit C-a q. Good things to know.