Arial from Windows 10 doesn’t play nice with Linux

I was fiddling with the fonts on my Linux notebook today, and I thought, why not upgrade all the Windows-based fonts with the latest fonts from Windows 10 (preview version)? Well, something definitely got changed and I don’t think I like it.


Here is how Google looks with under my Linux with Windows 8 fonts:

Arial from Windows 8 under Linux

And here here is how it looks with Windows 10 fonts:

Arial from Windows 10 under Linux

In this case I’m referring to the Arial font which is used for both links and content snippets. Look at the large bold text of the links, where the hinting and/or anti-aliasing of the font seem to be off with the Windows 10 Arial font. I use the Infinality Freetype patches and have fontconfig configured to display Arial with native bytecode hinting (autohint off).

I am not a font expert, and I am hoping someone can answer me what’s wrong here. If it’s of any help, below is the relevant fontconfig output.

Arial V6.58 (Windows 8)

$ fc-match -v Arial
Pattern has 43 elts (size 48)
	family: "Arial"(s)
	familylang: "en"(s)
	style: "Normal"(w) "obyčejné"(w) "Standard"(w) "Κανονικά"(w) "Regular"(w) "Normaali"(w) "Normál"(w) "Normale"(w) "Standaard"(w) "Normalny"(w) "Обычный"(w) "Normálne"(w) "Navadno"(w) "thường"(w) "Arrunta"(w)
	stylelang: "ca"(w) "cs"(w) "de"(w) "el"(w) "en"(w) "fi"(w) "hu"(w) "it"(w) "nl"(w) "pl"(w) "ru"(w) "sk"(w) "sl"(w) "vi"(w) "eu"(w)
	fullname: "Arial"(w)
	fullnamelang: "en"(w)
	slant: 0(i)(s)
	weight: 80(i)(s)
	width: 100(i)(s)
	size: 12(f)(s)
	pixelsize: 16(f)(s)
	foundry: "monotype"(w)
	antialias: True(w)
	hintstyle: 3(i)(w)
	hinting: True(w)
	verticallayout: False(s)
	autohint: False(w)
	globaladvance: True(s)
	file: "/home/alex/.fonts/win/arial.ttf"(w)
	index: 0(i)(w)
	outline: True(w)
	scalable: True(w)
	dpi: 96(f)(w)
	rgba: 1(i)(w)
	scale: 1(f)(s)
	charset: 
	0000: 00000000 ffffffff ffffffff 7fffffff 00000000 ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff
	0001: ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff
	0002: ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff
	0003: ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff 7cffffff ffffd7f0 fffffffb ffffffff ffffffff
	0004: ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff
	0005: ffffffff 000000ff 00000000 00000000 fffe0000 ffffffff ffff00ff 001f07ff
	0006: cfffffdf ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff
	0007: 00000000 00000000 ffff0000 ffffffff 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000
	0008: 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00001ffd 00000000 7ffffff0
	001d: ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff 000007ff c0000000
	001e: ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff
	001f: 3f3fffff ffffffff aaff3f3f 3fffffff ffffffff ffdfffff efcfffdf 7fdcffff
	0020: fffcffff 761dfc47 40000010 83f1fc00 001f0000 07ffffff 00000000 00010000
	0021: 00c80020 00004044 78186000 00000000 003f0010 00000100 00000000 00000000
	0022: c6268044 00000a00 00000100 00000033 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000
	0023: 00010004 00000003 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000
	0025: 11111005 10101010 ffff0000 00001fff 000f1111 14041c03 03009c10 00000040
	0026: 00000000 1c000000 00000005 00008c69 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000
	002c: 00000000 00000000 00000000 ffffffff 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000
	002e: 00800000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000
	00a7: ff800000 00000003 00000000 00000000 00001f00 00000000 00000000 00000000
	00fb: e0000006 5f7fffff ffffffdb ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff fff80003 ffffffff
	00fc: 00000000 00000000 c0000000 0000000f 00000000 00000000 00000000 001c0000
	00fd: 00000000 f0000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 3c140000
	00fe: 00000000 0000000f 00000000 ffdf0000 ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff 1fffffff
	00ff: 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 10000000
(w)
	lang: aa|ab|af|ar|ast|av|ay|az-az|az-ir|ba|bm|be|bg|bi|bin|br|bs|bua|ca|ce|ch|chm|co|cs|cu|cv|cy|da|de|el|en|eo|es|et|eu|fa|fi|fj|fo|fr|ff|fur|fy|ga|gd|gl|gn|gv|ha|haw|he|ho|hr|hu|ia|ig|id|ie|ik|io|is|it|kaa|ki|kk|kl|ks|ku-am|ku-ir|kum|kv|kw|ky|la|lb|lez|ln|lt|lv|mg|mh|mi|mk|mo|mt|nb|nds|nl|nn|no|nr|nso|ny|oc|om|os|pl|ps-af|ps-pk|pt|rm|ro|ru|sah|sco|se|sel|sh|shs|sk|sl|sm|sma|smj|smn|sms|so|sq|sr|ss|st|sv|sw|tg|tk|tl|tn|to|tr|ts|tt|tw|tyv|ug|uk|ur|uz|ve|vi|vo|vot|wa|wen|wo|xh|yap|yi|yo|zu|ak|an|ber-dz|crh|csb|ee|fat|fil|hsb|ht|hz|jv|kab|kj|kr|ku-iq|ku-tr|kwm|lg|li|mn-mn|ms|na|ng|nv|ota|pa-pk|pap-an|pap-aw|qu|quz|rn|rw|sc|sd|sg|sn|su|ty|za|lah(s)
	fontversion: 448922(i)(s)
	capability: "otlayout:arab otlayout:cyrl otlayout:grek otlayout:hebr otlayout:latn"(w)
	fontformat: "TrueType"(w)
	embeddedbitmap: False(w)
	decorative: False(s)
	lcdfilter: 1(i)(w)
	namelang: "en"(s)
	prgname: "fc-match"(s)
	hash: "sha256:7025b83c87a02c5a6182c5fd265c2a68e2f89319f0e632027561e84fd07fa8bf"(w)
	postscriptname: "ArialMT"(w)
	prefer_outline: True(w)
	do_substitutions: True(w)
	bitmap_monospace: False(w)
	force_autohint: False(w)
	qt_use_subpixel_positioning: False(w)
	font_type: "TT Instructed Font"(w)

Arial V6.90 (Windows 10)

$ fc-match -v Arial
Pattern has 43 elts (size 48)
	family: "Arial"(s)
	familylang: "en"(s)
	style: "Normal"(w) "obyčejné"(w) "Standard"(w) "Κανονικά"(w) "Regular"(w) "Normaali"(w) "Normál"(w) "Normale"(w) "Standaard"(w) "Normalny"(w) "Обычный"(w) "Normálne"(w) "Navadno"(w) "thường"(w) "Arrunta"(w)
	stylelang: "ca"(w) "cs"(w) "de"(w) "el"(w) "en"(w) "fi"(w) "hu"(w) "it"(w) "nl"(w) "pl"(w) "ru"(w) "sk"(w) "sl"(w) "vi"(w) "eu"(w)
	fullname: "Arial"(w)
	fullnamelang: "en"(w)
	slant: 0(i)(s)
	weight: 80(i)(s)
	width: 100(i)(s)
	size: 12(f)(s)
	pixelsize: 16(f)(s)
	foundry: "monotype"(w)
	antialias: True(w)
	hintstyle: 3(i)(w)
	hinting: True(w)
	verticallayout: False(s)
	autohint: False(w)
	globaladvance: True(s)
	file: "/home/alex/.fonts/win/arial.ttf"(w)
	index: 0(i)(w)
	outline: True(w)
	scalable: True(w)
	dpi: 96(f)(w)
	rgba: 1(i)(w)
	scale: 1(f)(s)
	charset: 
	0000: 00000000 ffffffff ffffffff 7fffffff 00000000 ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff
	0001: ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff
	0002: ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff
	0003: ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff fcffffff ffffd7f0 fffffffb ffffffff ffffffff
	0004: ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff
	0005: ffffffff fffeffff fe7fffff fffffffe fffee6ff ffffffff ffff00ff 001f07ff
	0006: dfffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff
	0007: 00000000 00000000 ffff0000 ffffffff 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000
	0008: 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 0007ffff 00000000 fffffff0
	001d: ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff 000007ff c0000000
	001e: ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff
	001f: 3f3fffff ffffffff aaff3f3f 3fffffff ffffffff ffdfffff efcfffdf 7fdcffff
	0020: fffcffff 761dfc47 40000010 83f1fc00 001f0000 3fffffff 00000000 00010000
	0021: 00c80020 00004044 78186000 00000000 003f0010 00000100 00000000 00000000
	0022: c6268044 00000a00 00000100 00000033 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000
	0023: 00010004 00000003 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000
	0025: 11111005 10101010 ffff0000 00001fff 000f1111 14041c03 03009c10 00000040
	0026: 00000000 1c000000 00000005 00008c69 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000
	002c: 00000000 00000000 00000000 ffffffff 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000
	002e: 00800000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000
	00a7: ff800000 00000003 00000000 00000000 00001f00 00000000 00000000 00000000
	00f3: 00000002 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000
	00fb: e0f8007f 5f7fffff ffffffdb ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff fff80003 ffffffff
	00fc: 00000000 00000000 c0000000 0000000f 00000000 00000000 00000000 001c0000
	00fd: 00000000 f0000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 3c140000
	00fe: 00000000 0000000f 00000000 ffdf0000 ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff 1fffffff
	00ff: 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 10000000
(w)
	lang: aa|ab|af|ar|ast|av|ay|az-az|az-ir|ba|bm|be|bg|bi|bin|br|bs|bua|ca|ce|ch|chm|co|cs|cu|cv|cy|da|de|el|en|eo|es|et|eu|fa|fi|fj|fo|fr|ff|fur|fy|ga|gd|gl|gn|gv|ha|haw|he|ho|hr|hu|hy|ia|ig|id|ie|ik|io|is|it|kaa|ki|kk|kl|ks|ku-am|ku-ir|kum|kv|kw|ky|la|lb|lez|ln|lt|lv|mg|mh|mi|mk|mo|mt|nb|nds|nl|nn|no|nr|nso|ny|oc|om|os|pl|ps-af|ps-pk|pt|rm|ro|ru|sah|sco|se|sel|sh|shs|sk|sl|sm|sma|smj|smn|sms|so|sq|sr|ss|st|sv|sw|tg|tk|tl|tn|to|tr|ts|tt|tw|tyv|ug|uk|ur|uz|ve|vi|vo|vot|wa|wen|wo|xh|yap|yi|yo|zu|ak|an|ber-dz|crh|csb|ee|fat|fil|hsb|ht|hz|jv|kab|kj|kr|ku-iq|ku-tr|kwm|lg|li|mn-mn|ms|na|ng|nv|ota|pa-pk|pap-an|pap-aw|qu|quz|rn|rw|sc|sd|sg|sn|su|ty|za|lah(s)
	fontversion: 452198(i)(s)
	capability: "otlayout:arab otlayout:cyrl otlayout:grek otlayout:hebr otlayout:latn"(w)
	fontformat: "TrueType"(w)
	embeddedbitmap: False(w)
	decorative: False(s)
	lcdfilter: 1(i)(w)
	namelang: "en"(s)
	prgname: "fc-match"(s)
	hash: "sha256:6221a99e995347ba211b076c4193521e70d94b575288fa45299f4f26479fdb75"(w)
	postscriptname: "ArialMT"(w)
	prefer_outline: True(w)
	do_substitutions: True(w)
	bitmap_monospace: False(w)
	force_autohint: False(w)
	qt_use_subpixel_positioning: False(w)
	font_type: "TT Instructed Font"(w)

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