Getting ‘free’ fonts not in your distribution

Some fonts are free to use, but may not be sold. This creates a dilemma for distributions: users may want the fonts, but since the distribution is also available on a DVD for sale, the fonts may not be in the distribtution.

The CTAN archives hold such fonts, together with all the necessary support files, but even with the support files ready-made, installing a font is a tedious business.

For texlive users, this dilemma is solved by the getnonfreefonts script. Download the script installer from; the web page tells you how to run the installer to get the script, and what fonts are currently available

Once the script is installed, you can ask it what it has available by saying:

getnonfreefonts -l
and you can ask it to install a font (in your local texmf tree) by:
getnonfreefonts luximono
(for example; the printed version of the FAQ uses luximono, so that the example was to hand…).

(System adminstrators may use getnonfreefonts-sys, which will install the font in the ‘public’ texmf tree, so that all users of the system may use the new font.)

The script will download the relevant font files from CTAN, extract them from their zip file, install them and update the font maps. It even goes so far as to apologise for how long it’s taking!

This answer last edited: 2013-10-22