Notes on using Greek Fonts under X11

Where to find the Greek Fonts

  • A complete set of Greek fonts with accurate installation instructions are distributed from the National Technical University of Athens.
  • Five greek fonts (for X windows Ver. 11 Rel. 4 or later) were developed in the Institute of Computer Science - Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas (ICS - FORTH). Installation instructions are also provided.

    Using X Greek Fonts (esp. for SGI machines)

    In order to use the greek fonts, you have to configure the Xsession file (either the system's /usr/lib/X11/xdm/Xsession or your .xsession file). First of all the greek fonts must be loaded to the server, and then the server must be notified about the XTerm greek resources.

    For SG machines, you have to add the following lines in /usr/lib/X11/xdm/Xsession or in /usr/lib/X11/xdm/Xsession.dt (if your version is 5.2 or newer and you have not disabled the desktop) just before the last line where you see :

    exec /usr/bin/X11/reaper

    # -------- start of sample Xsession file ----------------
    #we load the greek fonts to the server.
    xset +fp "/usr/lib/X11/fonts/greek"
    xset fp rehash
    #we load the greek translation table to the server.
    xrdb -merge /usr/lib/X11/app-defaults/gterm_keymap
    exec /usr/bin/X11/reaper
    # -------- end of sample Xsession file ----------------
    Now you should be ready to use the fonts. Restart the window manager, run xterm and check if the fonts are ok with :

    xlsfonts | grep gr
    or xlsfonts | grep gb
    Normally you should get the names of some of the fonts you have just installed in the output.

    Use of fonts with vi

    Run xterm -fn and run vi. By the key you change between Greek and English. The version of vi in Irix 5.2 has some problems with the greek fonts that do not apear in Irix 4.* versions. There is an excellent vi for greek fonts in (I'm not sure - search for a programm named "vigr") but it is distributed only as an executable for sun. If someone can get the sources or do the job himself - take the vi sources and make the appropriate changes) please send me an e-mail me.

    Useful Programs

    • Many useful programs using Greek fonts may be found in FTP site (Maintainer: A. Haritsis (
    • a2ps - an very nice ascii to postscript filter.
    • ispell - with a greek dictionary (which still has some problems) but is quite useful

    Use of fonts with mosaic

    This is are changes to /usr/lib/X11/app-defaults/Mosaic (or .Mosaic) file:
    --------------------- Start of Mosaic file --------------
    Mosaic*TitleFont: -greek-gallant-bold-r-normal--19-100-75-75-p-57-iso8859-1
    Mosaic*Font: -greek-screen-bold-r-normal--14-100-75-75-p-57-iso8859-1
    Mosaic*ItalicFont: -greek-courier-bold-r-normal--16-100-75-75-p-57-iso8859-1
    Mosaic*BoldFont: -greekb-screen-bold-r-normal--14-100-75-75-p-57-iso8859-1
    Mosaic*FixedFont: -greek-courier-bold-r-normal--16-100-75-75-p-57-iso8859-1
    Mosaic*Header1Font: -greek-gallant-bold-r-normal--19-100-75-75-p-57-iso8859-1
    Mosaic*Header2Font: -greek-screen-bold-r-normal--16-100-75-75-p-57-iso8859-1
    Mosaic*Header3Font: -greek-courier-bold-r-normal--16-100-75-75-p-57-iso8859-1
    Mosaic*Header4Font: -greek-courier-bold-r-normal--16-100-75-75-p-57-iso8859-1
    Mosaic*Header5Font: -greek-courier-bold-r-normal--16-100-75-75-p-57-iso8859-1
    Mosaic*Header6Font: -greek-courier-bold-r-normal--16-100-75-75-p-57-iso8859-1
    Mosaic*AddressFont: -greek-courier-bold-r-normal--16-100-75-75-p-57-iso8859-1
    Mosaic*PlainFont: -greek-courier-bold-r-normal--16-100-75-75-p-57-iso8859-1
    Mosaic*ListingFont: -greek-courier-bold-r-normal--16-100-75-75-p-57-iso8859-1
    -------------------End of Mosaic file --------------
    But this works because I have changed the font.alias file. But the idea is that you have to put any greek fonts you like in the above Font definitions. It works!

    Use of fonts with netscape

    A file that may be used for Greek fonts in Netscape is provided. Note that this file requires the fonts from NTUA.
    For any comments, suggestions or questions email to: