Introduction to Graphite2

Graphite2 is a rendering engine for graphite fonts. These are TrueType fonts with additional tables containing smart rendering information and were originally developed to support complex non-Roman writing systems. They may contain rules for e.g. ligatures, glyph substitution, kerning, justification - this can make them useful even on text written in Roman writing systems such as English. Note that firefox provides an internal copy of the graphite engine and cannot use a system version, but it too should benefit from the availability of graphite fonts.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS-7.8 platform.

Package Information

Graphite2 Dependencies




FreeType-2.6, Python-2.7.10, and silgraphite to build the comparerender test and benchmarking tool, and if that is present, Harfbuzz-1.0.3 to add more functionality to it (this is a circular dependency, you would need to first build graphite2 without harfbuzz).

To build the documentation: AsciiDoc, Doxygen-1.8.10 and texlive-20150521 (or install-tl-unx)

To execute the test suite you will need FontTools (Python 2 module), otherwise, some tests fail.

Optional (at runtime)

You will need at least one suitable graphite font for the package to be useful.

User Notes:

Installation of Graphite2

Install Graphite2 by running the following commands:

mkdir build &&
cd    build &&

cmake -G "Unix Makefiles"         \
      -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release  \
      -Wno-dev .. &&


If you wish to build the documentation, issue:

make docs

To test the results, issue: make test. Some tests fail if FontTools (Python 2 module) is not installed.

Now, as the root user:

make install

If you built the documentation, install, as the root user:

install -v -d -m755 /usr/share/doc/graphite2-1.3.1/api &&
cp      -v -r -f    doc/doxygen/{html,latex/refman.pdf} \
                    /usr/share/doc/graphite2-1.3.1/api &&
cp      -v -r -f    doc/{GTF,manual}.html \

Command Explanations

-DCMAKE_VERBOSE_MAKEFILE=ON: This switch turns on build verbose mode.


Installed Programs: gr2fonttest, and optionally comparerender
Installed Libraries:
Installed Directories: /usr/{include,share}/graphite2 and /usr/share/doc/graphite2-1.3.1

Short Descriptions


is a test and benchmarking tool.


is a diagnostic console tool for graphite fonts.

is a rendering engine for graphite fonts.

Last updated on 2015-09-09 21:58:46 -0700