Very odd, it seems that Firefox (at least on Ubuntu/Pop!_OS) prefers Bitstream Vera to system fonts specified in a CSS font stack.

Any idea why?

@aral are there a bunch of substitutions buried deep in /etc/fonts/conf.d that override them?

@thamesynne Hmm, quite possibly /etc/fonts/conf.d/45-latin.conf, which maps serif, sans, etc., to a stack of fonts. Perhaps Firefox is using that?

<family>Bitstream Vera Serif</family>


@aral possibly. i've noticed before that firefox seems to be more respectful of font configs than chromium... to the point of making everything look a right mess if you don't tell it not to use bitmap fonts for anything ;-)

@aral having looked more carefully, i think that just sets the family to default to if that specific font isn't available... but then 70-no-bitmaps.conf prevents the default 'serif' bitmap font from being found, which means Xft falls back to the first installed font that's marked as "default to serif"... not sure whether that'd be the first font alphabetically or in the list

but i haven't tested that - it's just my best guess, and probably wrong

@aral aha! in my system, at the bottom of file 57-dejavu-sans.conf, there's a bit that says
<family>DejaVu Sans</family>

that looks like the culprit!

@thamesynne Hmm, thanks for digging into it. It does appear that Firefox is adhering to those font configs (perhaps to save having to parse the full list of system fonts?)

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