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Powerline font in framebuffer console

When using a "Powerline"-based prompt such as ZSH agnoster, the prompt looks good in a graphical terminal emulator, but will probably look garbage in the framebuffer or VGA console, due to the missing font glyphs.

There is a special bitmap-based powerline font suitable for the framebuffer console. On some systems the console setup tool setupcon is buggy and has to be patched in order to enable loading a custom font.

  • Download bitmap font from powerline repository

  • Copy the ter-powerline-*.psf.gz files to /usr/share/consolefonts

  • Add FONT=... to /etc/default/console-setup. It may be worth to experiment with different font sizes depending on screen resolution.


  • /bin/setupcon has a bug preventing it from finding and activating the font. Fix with following patch:

    --- /bin/setupcon.orig 2020-07-29 08:57:20.792643590 +0200
    +++ /bin/setupcon 2020-07-29 09:11:24.295472896 +0200
    @@ -684,10 +684,11 @@
                 RES=`findfile $fontdir $fdec`
    +        FONTFILES="$RES"
     FONTFILES=`echo $FONTFILES` # remove extra spaces
     if [ -n "$FONTFACE" -a -z "$FONTFILES" ]; then
         case "$kernel" in
  • Run setupcon

Now the Terminus powerline font should be active in the framebuffer console.