Use lookalikes of the Microsoft fonts

Tip 170, on page 206, explains how to install the popular Microsoft Windows fonts on your system. Yet if you feel the whole point of installing Ubuntu is to get away from Microsoft products of any kind, you might not want to do this.

The solution is to install the Liberation fonts, created by Linux vendor Red Hat to be metrically identical to Microsoft's fonts. In other words, the three fonts fonts offered—replacements for Arial, Times New Roman and Courier—are exactly the same size as the Microsoft fonts, so can be used as swap-in replacements without any disruption to websites or office documents.

Just use Synaptic to search for and install the ttf-liberation package. Once installed you might choose to configure Firefox to use the fonts as defaults. Click Edit ^ Preferences, select the Content icon, and click the Advanced button alongside the Fonts & Colors heading. Then, in

Play old MS-DOS games M 324

the dialog box that appears, select Liberation Serif in the Serif dropdown list, Liberation Sans in the Sans-serif dropdown, and Liberation Mono in the Monospace dropdown. In the Proportional dropdown, you might choose to change it to read Sans Serif—this will cause a sans serif font to be used with sites like or BBC News ( uk), something you might have been used to under Windows.

Once done, click OK and then the Close button in the preferences dialog box. Then browse to a website to test your new settings.

281QPlay old MS-DOS games

This tip should appeal to anybody brought up in the 80s and 90s, arguably the period of classic gaming. It involves the use of DOSBox, a program that emulates DOS inside a virtual computer. However, unlike DOS days of old, there's no need to spend hours installing drivers or extended-memory managers—everything is setup for you.

Start by using Synaptic to install the dosbox package. Once installed, you need to create a virtual hard disk so create an empty folder in your /home folder and call it something like dosbox_c. Following this start DOSBox by clicking its link on the Applications ^ Games menu, and mount your new hard disk by typing the following at the DOSBox prompt: mount C dosbox_c

Then you'll need to switch into the folder in the usual DOS method by typing:

Then all you need do is raid the attic for all those DOS games diskettes you stored there back in 1995. Alternatively, you could search Google for abandonware—old computer software that has been released into the public domain. A particularly good site is Once you have downloaded a game, copy it into your dosbox_c folder and then use DOSBox to either run its installer or, more likely, just run the executable to start playing the game. See Figure 3.48, on the following page for an example game played on my test PC.

Note that you might need to quit and then restart DOSBox for it to see the contents of the mounted folder after files have been copied there.

Figure 3.48: Playing old games using DOSBox (see Tip 281, on the previous page)

If you find you really like your reintroduction to DOS, see Tip 177, on page 216, which describes how to run an old but freely available version of Microsoft Word under DOSBox.

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