RPi Command line font size

From eLinux.org
Jump to: navigation, search

Note this will also work for Raspbian installations however you will need to enter the password when you use a sudo command and the console-config allready has some values in unlike wheezy which has "" for FONTFACE and FONTSIZE.


sudo dpkg-reconfigure console-setup

Follow the steps, select "Let the system select a suitable font" and select the Font size you want:

sudo reboot

Full article:

When you first kick off wheezy using an HDMI TV as a monitor the default font size is very small unless you have a very big TV.

At this time the default startup kicks into the raspi-config script and some of you may have read the wiki page that covers raspi-config

There will however be a large number of noob persuasion that have not.

The second option in the raspi-config menu script is overscan and you need this enabled if you want to make best use of a default font change for the command line.

log in to your pi and enter

sudo raspi-config

this will re-run the configuration script and you can go to the overscan option and change the setting to enable.

Note you can do only that line you do not need to do all of the menu again.

Use the down arrow to select the finish line hit enter twice and reboot your pie with what used to be known as the three finger spread [Ctrl][Alt][Del]

After the reboot the plan is to change the default settings for the command line screen font

So login:

sudo bash

This is just one of the ways to make you the super user root.

cd /etc/default

This line changes your current directory and if you want the detail it braks down as this

cd change directory command
/ start at the root
etc follow the path to the etc directory
/default from there to the directory called default (this can be confusing there is a sub directory of /etc called default)

this is the command that shows you the current working directory it should show you



This is a handy little command it will show you the content of the current working directory this can more than fill the screen but /etc/default is not overly stuffed with files.

one of those is console-setup and we now want to edit this file there are a number of text editors within linux my personal favourite is nano there are others pico and vi to name two but we will use nano for this description.

nano console-setup

Just about everything within linux is set up using a text file and this is no exception note if you get a blank screen you made a typo and should exit with the key combination [Ctrl][x] shown at the bottom of the editor screen as ^x

Use your arrow keys to get to the line FONTFACE=""

type Terminus between the speech marks there are other font faces but this is the example we are using.

drop one line to the line that reads FONTSIZE="" and type 12x32 between the quotes marks if you are using a composite connection this font may be too big and a setting of 16x8 may be better there are a range of settings experiment to find the one that suits your monitor setup best.

Do not Erase the speech marks


If you have not changed anything you will drop back to the command prompt but if you have made the changes the instruction line at the bottom will tell yo you need to type y to save the changes n will discard those changes

If you type n you will also be dropped back to the command prompt. y will allow you to either use the current file name or give it a new one just type [Enter] and save using the current file name

at the command prompt it's the three finger spread again


If you have done everything right you will have a command line font you can read without a magnifying glass.

If the screen looks offset left and low you missed out on the raspi-overscan but it can be done after the fact.

A couple of times [Ctrl][Alt][Del] has failed for me if it does not start do a power reset (The original help desk instruction)

switch it off and on again

Have fun.