Introduction to FontForge

The FontForge package contains an outline font editor that lets you create your own postscript, truetype, opentype, cid-keyed, multi-master, cff, svg and bitmap (bdf, FON, NFNT) fonts, or edit existing ones.



Development versions of BLFS may not build or run some packages properly if dependencies have been updated since the most recent stable versions of the book.

Package Information

FontForge Dependencies


libspiro-20200505 and libxml2-2.9.14



giflib-5.2.1, git-2.37.0, libjpeg-turbo-2.1.3, libtiff-4.4.0, WOFF2-1.0.2, and Sphinx (to build html documentation)

User Notes:

Installation of FontForge

Install FontForge by running the following commands:

mkdir build &&
cd    build &&

      -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release  \
      -Wno-dev .. &&

To test the results, issue: make check.

Now, as the root user:

make install

If you have installed sphinx-build, HTML documentation was built and installed in /usr/share/doc/fontforge. To be able to access it as a versioned directory, create a symlink as the root user:

ln -sv fontforge /usr/share/doc/fontforge-20220308

Command Explanations

-DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release: This switch is used to create an optimized release without debug information.

-Wno-dev: This switch is used to suppress warnings intended for the package's developers.

-DENABLE_X11=ON: use an X11 backend instead of GDK3 (gtk+-3) for basic Xorg graphics.


Installed Programs: fontforge, fontimage, fontlint and sfddiff
Installed Library: and /usr/lib/python3.10.5/site-packages/{fontforge,psMat}.so
Installed Directories: /usr/share/fontforge and optionally /usr/share/doc/fontforge{,-20220308}

Short Descriptions


is a program that allows you to create and modify font files


is a program that produces an image showing representative glyphs of the font


is a program that checks the font for certain common errors


is a program that compares two font files