Adding Hebrew Fonts to my Debian installation

Every time I install a new computer, I soon come across wanting to have Hebrew fonts available for my LibreOffice. In my case I installed the latest version, LibreOffice 6.0 where it should be – in /opt/libreoffice6.0. That one was easy, but next I need to get and install the Hebrew fonts. That one is slightly more demanding, but still easy to accomplish. Here is how:

While my Ivrit is absolutely bad and I’d really need to sit down for a few months and learn it the hard way, yet I still sometimes use Hebrew fonts, for instance to write my name. But every time I think about this, I first need  to think, well, where did I get the fonts the last time. Meanwhile I only need to think a minute. It’s at

Open Siddur -> help -> fonts

There somewhere at the bottom you’ll find link to a zip-file. The section is headed


followed by a description how to install it on Windows. But I don’t use Windows, so I’ll have to walk the extra mile.

But what now? When you turn towards google to find out, it will direct you to ttf-mscorefonts-installer, and this one will only install you particular given fonts but not the fonts you have here. We need to go a different way.

First we unpack the zip-file and we’ll find a new directory called fonts-master.
2nd we need to check that the directory /usr/local/share/fonts exists. If it doesn’t exist, we need to create it:

mkdir -p /usr/local/share/fonts
chmod 775 /usr/local/share/fonts
chmod g+s /usr/local/share/fonts
chgrp staff /usr/local/share/fonts

And next we run a little script from within the new directory fonts-master.

find . -name "*.ttf" -print | while read line; do
    # find yields paths with blanks in it and preceded with ./
    # That needs to be transformed into a line where directory- and
    # file names are wrapped with quotation marks, the preceding ./
    # will be removed and the trailing ttf will be trailed with
    # quotation mark
    fnm1=`echo $line | sed 's/\.\//\"/g' | sed 's/\//\"\/\"/g' | sed 's/ttf/ttf\"/g'`
    cmd=`echo "cp $fnm1 /usr/local/share/fonts"`
    eval $cmd

You can check the result with

ls -l /usr/local/share/fonts

Next we need to set the file permissions correctly

cd /usr/local/share/fonts
chmod 644 *.ttf

Next you run the fc-cache command. You may invoke the -v option, but don’t be irritated by the messages. The last one, reporting success, is the interesting one.

Now I have a look at my LibreOffice and voila, here we go. All the Open-Siddur fonts are installed now. And the list of fonts is long in LibreOffice, so we only see the tiny snapshot. The slider at the scrollbar of the fonts-menu indicates how many there are.