Malayalam/Viewing the font

This guide is for configuring your computer to enable reading and writing Malayalam in Windows, and GNU/Linux and BSD operating systems.

Microsoft WindowsEdit

Configuring for readingEdit

  1. Delete any old version of AnjaliOldLipi Font from Fonts directory which is often C:\WINDOWS\Fonts or C:\WINNT\Fonts.
  2. Download and copy AnjaliOldLipi.ttf to Windows\Fonts folder.
  3. Click Start, Control Panel, Internet Options, Fonts. Select Language Script Malayalam. Then select Web page font as AnjaliOldLipi. Press OK and OK.

Configuring for WritingEdit

Varamozhi Varamozhi Editor is a transliteration based Malayalam text Editor that runs on both Windows and Unix. That is, you can type in Manglish and you will see in real Malayalam.

Basic Mozhi Transliteration Scheme

Also, you can copy-paste any Malayalam article from some web site and that will be converted back to Manglish for correction, further editing or conversion to Unicode or another font.

Language packsEdit

You can install the Malayalam language pack for your operating system to see the Microsoft Windows GUI in Malayalam.

GNU/Linux and *BSD*sEdit

Here are the steps to enable support.

  • pango enabled firefox does provide good indic fonts support.In Debian GNU/Linux Iceweasel provides the best indic rendition.You can enable Gnome browser epiphany for pango support via gconf2 tool as epiphany also is based on gecko.
  • If your distribution does not come with any indic font(here,Malayalam), you will need to install one.

Installing Font in Gnome,Kde and X in generalEdit

  • All major distributions comes with malayalam fonts. Use apt-get install ttf-malayalam-fonts in Debian based distributions(Debian Ubuntu etc ) and yum install smc-fonts in fedora

In GnomeEdit

GNOME is a versatile Desktop Environment with native pango support which means better rendering in-built.

  • In Gnome,drag n drop your font to nautilus window.before,nautilus should be in Fonts:/// directory(press CTRL+L,enter fonts:/// ).

Now press CTRL+ALT+BKSPACE to restart X and time the font is available for local user and installed in ~/.fonts/ directory.

Installing TrueType fonts in X in general and also for GnomeEdit

  • there are other ways to make font available to all users of the system in Gnome or X itself.I am taking Debian/Ubuntu as example,but works for any distro too.for redhat/fedora and Suse or most distros this works.rpm based distros got a tool called chkfontpath which is very useful.

Now,you need to use CLI or terminal for implementing this.firstly:

"apt-get install ttmkfdir" 

using apt package management tool or use Synaptic Manager. make a directory called malayalam and copy the Anjali font to there.

:~#  mkdir /usr/share/fonts/truetype/malayalam/
move the font here.

then go to /usr/share/fonts/truetype/malayalam/ -where font is installed. You need to be root user for installing fonts globally.for that in a terminal, su [press enter] <give your root password> or sudo [press enter] <give your local password> sudo is used in Ubuntu Linux by default.

then as root("~#" stands for root prompt,dont copy that),

~#ttmkfdir> fonts.scale
~#ttmkfdir >fonts.dir
~#xset fp+ /usr/share/fonts/truetype/malayalam/
~#xset fp rehash

now do a,

~#fc-cache -fv

restart Display(X) or reboot.As /usr/share/fonts/truetype/ directory is already mapped in Xorg for fonts.(see /etc/X11/fs/config). Now the font can be used by every users.

Kde Desktop EnvironmentEdit

Kde is the most used Desktop Environment in GNU/Linux and *NIX's too:

  • In KDE Control Center (kcontrol), select System Administration -> Font Installer, and add the downloaded font
  • You may need to logout and login back
  • For Transliteration or manglish(type malayalam in English) in GNU/Linux and *BSDs,we can use a various inputs systems Swanalekha (Phonetic Keyboard using SCIM) or mozhi. otherwise you can compile from source the Varamozhi Transliteration tool for Malayalam.

Download Packages to Enable malayalam support in GNU/LinuxEdit

You can download the software required to enable Malayalam support in the latest version of Ubuntu(7.10) and Debian GNU/Linux (etch) from

Use the repositories of Swathanthra Malayalam Computing to keep updated. Swathanthra Malayalam Computing manages repositories for Fedora 6, 7, 8, 9 , CentOS5 and Debain etch, lenny and sid