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Here is a truncated version of the global /etc/fonts/fonts.conf XML file.

At the top specifications for font directory search paths are enumerated.

Aliases for mapping the generic category of “serif” fonts to fonts actually available on the system are shown next. The font names shown in this example are open source Unicode fonts (Vera is a Latin font, ShanHeiSun is a Chinese font, Sazanami Mincho is a Japanese font, UnBatang is a Korean font, Nazli is an Arabic/Farsi font, and Norasi is a Thai font). XFT/Fontconfig-aware software, such as the Mozilla/Firefox web browser, can automatically use the fonts listed here when, for example, a CSS style sheet attached to an HTML document specifies a generic “serif” font.

A complete configuration file normally specifies many more options than can be shown here. To begin with, a real configuration file would also have specifications for sans-serif and monospace fonts. The file might also specify options for sub-pixel rendering that are appropriate for LCD monitors. Also there is usually a block that specifies a transformation matrix to use for artificially obliquing fonts which lack real italic or oblique versions. Finally, the global /etc/fonts/fonts.conf file normally also contains a line for including a user-specific ~/.fonts.conf file located in the user's home directory so that individual users may customize font behaviour according to their own liking.