gothaf
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2019 4:46 pm

Raspbian Buster Desktop Fonts Hurt My Eyes

Mon Aug 05, 2019 5:08 pm

I am using latest Raspbian Buster Desktop for the first time on a new Pi4 connected on a 1280x800 lcd display through hdmi. Fonts on desktop, terminal and chromium browser are awful. They are not crisp. It's like the resolution is not set correctly even though it is. Images look sharp and clear, but on chromium I can clearly distinguish stripes of color on gradient backgrouds. My main concern though is that text is practically unreadable since my eyes literally hurt after staring at the scrren for a few minutes. Anyone else had this problem before? Any help would be greatly appreciated...

User avatar
PeterO
Posts: 4942
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2012 4:14 pm

Re: Raspbian Buster Desktop Fonts Hurt My Eyes

Mon Aug 05, 2019 6:33 pm

Discoverer of the PI2 XENON DEATH FLASH!
Interests: C,Python,PIC,Electronics,Ham Radio (G0DZB),1960s British Computers.
"The primary requirement (as we've always seen in your examples) is that the code is readable. " Dougie Lawson

gothaf
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2019 4:46 pm

Re: Raspbian Buster Desktop Fonts Hurt My Eyes

Tue Aug 06, 2019 7:56 pm

PeterO wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 6:33 pm
This may help
https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/view ... p?t=172162
PeterO
If this was of any help to you, could you please instruct me on how to get there. I don't think the instructions in this thread are applicable to this version. I can't find files or folders mentioned in this thread...

ichi
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:45 pm

Re: Raspbian Buster Desktop Fonts Hurt My Eyes

Wed Aug 21, 2019 12:07 am

Hi,

I am looking for a solution for the same problem. The software side is the same, but I am using a 4K TV as a display. The fonts, the brightness are terrible. The screen seems to be very over illuminated and if I read something on the screen after about five minutes my eyes are starting to hurt and then I have headache. The reason is, how the fonts are displayed. They are black on a very light area, but they are surrounded by a white "shadow". At the beginning it was hard to read the text at all, then I was playing around with colours and font types and sizes. It got a little better, but it is still very uncomfortable. The settings in the GUI are very limited and some settings are not working. I tried to set the background colour to dark and the fonts to white. It worked on the taskbar (and now it is the only area on the screen which is really good to look at), but the rest of the desktop is not responding to the changes and even if it would, there is still the problem in a browser or in a text editor.
I was looking for another desktop or window manager, but there is not much to find and there is no other operating system until now for the Pi 4.
The brightness is also disturbing. If I connect my laptop (running Ubuntu Mate 18.04) to the same screen, fonts are comfortable to read and the brightness is much lower (I have to set the brightness of the TV every time as I change to another device). I am using Linux since 25 years, but I cannot figure out how to solve the problem and the device is not usable for me right now. Any help is welcome! Thank you!

bjtheone
Posts: 138
Joined: Mon May 20, 2019 11:28 pm

Re: Raspbian Buster Desktop Fonts Hurt My Eyes

Wed Aug 21, 2019 1:30 pm

If you want something like your Mate desktop, the easiest path is to install Raspbian Lite, and then install xserver-xorg, xinit, mate-desktop and mate-tweak.

That will get you a desktop and set of tweaking tools you are familiar with. I also am not a fan of the default font choices, but installing fonts is easy. I like Ubuntu, but font choices are very personal. Switching to a less bright theme, with off white terminals helps a fair bit as well.

ichi
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:45 pm

Re: Raspbian Buster Desktop Fonts Hurt My Eyes

Thu Aug 22, 2019 1:11 am

Thank you for the quick response! In the meantime, I switched to xfce and it can be tweaked to a better result already. I also tried the new Manjaro Linux for RPi 4 and that desktop was way better. Much lower brightness of the screen (black was finally really black on the screen) comfortable fonts. Unfortunately it cannot handle my screen resolution by default, so it needs some tweaking and the video performance seems to be even worse, than Raspbian (which is also quite slow on high resolution). It seems that I have to learn Linux again, I got very comfortable with the latest distributions! :-) Thank you again!

bjtheone
Posts: 138
Joined: Mon May 20, 2019 11:28 pm

Re: Raspbian Buster Desktop Fonts Hurt My Eyes

Fri Aug 23, 2019 5:24 pm

The advantage of starting with Raspbian Lite is that you get a fairly safe base (Debian) with the ARM specific optimizations that RPT puts in when they package it up, so it all just works. Yes there are some compromises to support all Pi types but it is a much better starting place than say trying to install Ubuntu. Some time when I am bored I might take a run at getting to all ARM v7 optimized binaries. I like Ubuntu, and it tends to be my go to distro, but there is not a canned one I have seen that just works with the same level of video performance as Raspbian Buster. It is being worked on, but is not there yet.

Layer on the desktop you are familiar with and you can make it look and behave very very similar to Debian running on Intel. I have Mate running on a 3B+, a 4B, a AMD based Chromebook (via Crouton and Ubuntu Mate), and Ubuntu Mate on a number of Intel laptops. They are all using a tweaked version of a theme that I like, with the same icon set, same fonts, same tool suites, same apps, same look and feel.

Of course you could do the same thing starting with the 64 Bit Gentoo build that has been released, or install Ubuntu, or whatever but you are likely going to need to tinker more. The look and feel is pretty much completely controlled by the Desktop Environment you are running and how you theme it. Some effects are not doable with some DEs, especially the lighter ones, but you should be able to deal with stuff like fonts, colours, and icon sets fairly easily.

User avatar
HawaiianPi
Posts: 4534
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:53 am
Location: Aloha, Oregon USA

Re: Raspbian Buster Desktop Fonts Hurt My Eyes

Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:02 pm

gothaf wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 5:08 pm
I am using latest Raspbian Buster Desktop for the first time on a new Pi4 connected on a 1280x800 lcd display through hdmi. Fonts on desktop, terminal and chromium browser are awful. They are not crisp. It's like the resolution is not set correctly even though it is.
Is it a monitor or TV?

Images look sharp and clear, but on chromium I can clearly distinguish stripes of color on gradient backgrouds.
This sounds like an issue with color depth (less than 24 bit color). Have you tried this screen with anything else?

My main concern though is that text is practically unreadable since my eyes literally hurt after staring at the scrren for a few minutes. Anyone else had this problem before? Any help would be greatly appreciated...
Why don't you just choose a different font?

Right-Click on desktop, Desktop Preferences, System, and try some of the other fonts (I'm using Sans Regular, size 11).
My mind is like a browser. 27 tabs are open, 9 aren't responding,
lots of pop-ups...and where is that annoying music coming from?

User avatar
ksharindam
Posts: 138
Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2016 4:16 pm

Re: Raspbian Buster Desktop Fonts Hurt My Eyes

Thu Aug 29, 2019 3:03 pm

gothaf wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 5:08 pm
I am using latest Raspbian Buster Desktop for the first time on a new Pi4 connected on a 1280x800 lcd display through hdmi. Fonts on desktop, terminal and chromium browser are awful. They are not crisp. It's like the resolution is not set correctly even though it is. Images look sharp and clear, but on chromium I can clearly distinguish stripes of color on gradient backgrouds. My main concern though is that text is practically unreadable since my eyes literally hurt after staring at the scrren for a few minutes. Anyone else had this problem before? Any help would be greatly appreciated...
The new font rendering also hurt my eyes. In stretch fonts were sharp and crisp. But in buster it is somewhat hazy.
This is due to new font rendering engine used in freetype2.
You can fix this by enabling the old v35 engine.

Edit the text file /etc/environment
add this line

Code: Select all

FREETYPE_PROPERTIES="truetype:interpreter-version=35"
then reboot.

gothaf
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2019 4:46 pm

Re: Raspbian Buster Desktop Fonts Hurt My Eyes

Thu Aug 29, 2019 9:27 pm

ksharindam wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 3:03 pm
gothaf wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 5:08 pm
I am using latest Raspbian Buster Desktop for the first time on a new Pi4 connected on a 1280x800 lcd display through hdmi. Fonts on desktop, terminal and chromium browser are awful. They are not crisp. It's like the resolution is not set correctly even though it is. Images look sharp and clear, but on chromium I can clearly distinguish stripes of color on gradient backgrouds. My main concern though is that text is practically unreadable since my eyes literally hurt after staring at the scrren for a few minutes. Anyone else had this problem before? Any help would be greatly appreciated...
The new font rendering also hurt my eyes. In stretch fonts were sharp and crisp. But in buster it is somewhat hazy.
This is due to new font rendering engine used in freetype2.
You can fix this by enabling the old v35 engine.

Edit the text file /etc/environment
add this line

Code: Select all

FREETYPE_PROPERTIES="truetype:interpreter-version=35"
then reboot.

Ok, after switching monitors, fonts and browsers, I knew it had something to do with font rendering. I will try this setting next time I am on Raspbian. I switched to Manjaro today. I have never used an arch based distro before and I have a hard time setting it up, but right now, Raspbian Buster desktop looks like s#!*! The difference between the two is like night and day! Everything looks just like it should! maybe it doesn't work like it should yet, but it is definitely more usable as a desktop, because I can look at the screen for more than two minutes without a break.
I am actually wondering... Why is it that only so few people have this problem? Does the majority find Raspbian Buster desktop ok?

User avatar
ksharindam
Posts: 138
Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2016 4:16 pm

Re: Raspbian Buster Desktop Fonts Hurt My Eyes

Fri Aug 30, 2019 6:35 am

gothaf wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 9:27 pm
I switched to Manjaro today. I have never used an arch based distro before and I have a hard time setting it up, but right now, Raspbian Buster desktop looks like s#!*! The difference between the two is like night and day!
If you can set up a distro, then difference between two distros is only in package management.
Instead of using another distro, you can set up raspbian buster lite for your own.
I myself prefer XFCE desktop with Lxde apps. So I install raspbian lite, and then install Xserver, Lightdm, XFCE desktop, lxde apps such as PCmanFM, lxtasks, and some apps created by myself (such as image viewer/editor, pdf viewer, image to pdf converter, paint, printing program) and all other necessary apps. Then configure everything, like GTK themes, enable color text in manpages, use a separate home partition etc.

There is an advantage of using raspbian that, you get the latest GPU drivers and other programs optimized for RPi hardware.
gothaf wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 9:27 pm
I am actually wondering... Why is it that only so few people have this problem? Does the majority find Raspbian Buster desktop ok?
I dont know why very few people have this problem. The reasons may be, they use higher dpi monitors (but I use 1366x768 and 15.6 inch),
or they dont use smaller fonts (I use 10pt).

Return to “Raspbian”