I’ve just discovered there’s a way to get Fedora to display fonts on screen much more legibly using sub-pixel rendering (what Microsoft’s ‘ClearType’ does) and font hinting. It makes a world of difference on my screen, and should on any other LCD screen.
To enable it, run the following commands as root. If your monitor uses a pixel layout other than RGB you’ll need to adjust the second link accordingly, though I believe RGB is the most common.
> ln -s /etc/fonts/conf.avail/10-autohint.conf /etc/fonts/conf.d/
> ln -s /etc/fonts/conf.avail/10-sub-pixel-rgb.conf /etc/fonts/conf.d/
You may need to restart your X server for it to take effect, though on my machine (Fedora 15) the change was effective immediately – and very obviously! The change is like the first time I discovered how to enable ClearType in Windows:the text on screen momentarily looks beautiful, as if you’ve been looking at the screen through the bottom of a glass bottle all this time.
Incidentally, my favourite programming fonts are Inconsolata and Anonymous Pro; both are much clearer than typical defaults. If you’ve not yet tried a font specifically designed for programming then I recommend trying it now.