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๐Ÿ’Œ Bitmapped programming font, based on Tamsyn

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Tamzen font

This is my personal fork of the wonderful Tamsyn font by Scott Fial. It is programatically forked from Tamsyn version 1.11 by the

script (see the "Building" section below) which backports glyphs from older versions while deleting deliberately empty glyphs (which are marked as unimplemented) to allow secondary/fallback fonts to provide real glyphs at those codepoints.

The "TamzenForPowerline" fonts provide additional Powerline symbols, which are programatically injected with ZyX_I's bitmap-font-patcher. I later hand-tweaked those symbols to perfection in the gbdfed(1) editor:

  • For all icons, I expanded them to occupy the maximum available space.
  • For the fork icon (๎‚  U+E0A0), I made the branch larger than the trunk.
  • For the newline icon (๎‚ก U+E0A1), I made the "N" at the bottom larger.
  • For the padlock icon (๎‚ข U+E0A2), I replaced the keyhole with // lines.



man manual page tmux, vim, etc.

$ cat screenshot.txt
abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz 67890
Illegal1i = oO0    ๎‚  ๎‚ก ๎‚ข ๎‚ฐ ๎‚ฑ ๎‚ฒ ๎‚ณ
The quick brown fox, (..) Hello,
jumps over lazy dog. /__\ World!


TamzenForPowerline10x20r.bdf TamzenForPowerline10x20b.bdf


TamzenForPowerline8x16r.bdf TamzenForPowerline8x16b.bdf


TamzenForPowerline8x15r.bdf TamzenForPowerline8x15b.bdf


TamzenForPowerline7x14r.bdf TamzenForPowerline7x14b.bdf


TamzenForPowerline7x13r.bdf TamzenForPowerline7x13b.bdf


TamzenForPowerline6x12r.bdf TamzenForPowerline6x12b.bdf


TamzenForPowerline5x9r.bdf TamzenForPowerline5x9b.bdf


Tamzen10x20r.bdf Tamzen10x20b.bdf


Tamzen8x16r.bdf Tamzen8x16b.bdf


Tamzen8x15r.bdf Tamzen8x15b.bdf


Tamzen7x14r.bdf Tamzen7x14b.bdf


Tamzen7x13r.bdf Tamzen7x13b.bdf


Tamzen6x12r.bdf Tamzen6x12b.bdf


Tamzen5x9r.bdf Tamzen5x9b.bdf


Using a package manager:

Packaging status

Manually, in Linux:

  • Download a release or clone this Git repository into

    and then run:

    xset +fp ~/.fonts/tamzen-font/bdf xset fp rehash

  • You should now be able to see the "Tamzen" font family in


Manually, in Windows:

  • Copy the files from the
    folder into your Windows Fonts folder.

Manually, in macOS:

  • Drag & drop the files from the
    folder into your Font Book app.

Linux VT integration

  1. Switch to a Linux VT (virtual terminal) by pressing Control-Alt-F1.

  2. Run

    to see how the character map currently looks.
  3. Run

    setfont ~/.fonts/tamzen-font/psf/TamzenForPowerline10x20.psf
  4. See how the character map now displays glyphs from the Tamzen font.

  5. Try running

    with other Tamzen fonts in the

See for details.

XTerm integration

The following Xresources let you dynamically switch between the various Tamzen fonts by holding down Control and right-clicking in the XTerm terminal.

XTerm*font  : -*-tamzen-medium-*-*-*-16-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
XTerm*font1 : -*-tamzen-medium-*-*-*-9-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
XTerm*font2 : -*-tamzen-medium-*-*-*-12-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
XTerm*font3 : -*-tamzen-medium-*-*-*-13-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
XTerm*font4 : -*-tamzen-medium-*-*-*-15-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
XTerm*font5 : -*-tamzen-medium-*-*-*-16-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
XTerm*font6 : -*-tamzen-medium-*-*-*-20-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

! Tamzen fonts for use with Powerline XTermfont : --tamzenforpowerline-medium----16------- XTermfont1 : --tamzenforpowerline-medium----9------- XTermfont2 : --tamzenforpowerline-medium----12------- XTermfont3 : --tamzenforpowerline-medium----13------- XTermfont4 : --tamzenforpowerline-medium----15------- XTermfont5 : --tamzenforpowerline-medium----16------- XTermfont6 : --tamzenforpowerline-medium----20-------

Feed the above snippet into the xrdb(1) program and then start a new XTerm to see its effect. Afterwards, you can add this snippet to your ~/.Xdefaults or ~/.Xresources files to have these settings be automatically applied by XTerm.

URxvt integration

The following aliases let you dynamically switch between the various Tamzen fonts when run inside a shell that is attached to the URxvt terminal.

alias font="printf '\e]710;%s\007'"

alias Tamzen-9=Tamzen5x9r alias Tamzen5x9r='font -misc-tamzen-medium-r-normal--9-65-100-100-c-50-iso8859-1' alias Tamzen5x9b='font -misc-tamzen-bold-r-normal--9-65-100-100-c-50-iso8859-1'

alias Tamzen-12=Tamzen6x12r alias Tamzen6x12r='font -misc-tamzen-medium-r-normal--12-87-100-100-c-60-iso8859-1' alias Tamzen6x12b='font -misc-tamzen-bold-r-normal--12-87-100-100-c-60-iso8859-1'

alias Tamzen-13=Tamzen7x13r alias Tamzen7x13r='font -misc-tamzen-medium-r-normal--13-101-100-100-c-70-iso8859-1' alias Tamzen7x13b='font -misc-tamzen-bold-r-normal--13-101-100-100-c-70-iso8859-1'

alias Tamzen-14=Tamzen7x14r alias Tamzen7x14r='font -misc-tamzen-medium-r-normal--14-101-100-100-c-70-iso8859-1' alias Tamzen7x14b='font -misc-tamzen-bold-r-normal--14-101-100-100-c-70-iso8859-1'

alias Tamzen-15=Tamzen8x15r alias Tamzen8x15r='font -misc-tamzen-medium-r-normal--15-108-100-100-c-80-iso8859-1' alias Tamzen8x15b='font -misc-tamzen-bold-r-normal--15-108-100-100-c-80-iso8859-1'

alias Tamzen-16=Tamzen8x16r alias Tamzen8x16r='font -misc-tamzen-medium-r-normal--16-108-100-100-c-80-iso8859-1' alias Tamzen8x16b='font -misc-tamzen-bold-r-normal--16-108-100-100-c-80-iso8859-1'

alias Tamzen-20=Tamzen10x20r alias Tamzen10x20r='font -misc-tamzen-medium-r-normal--20-145-100-100-c-100-iso8859-1' alias Tamzen10x20b='font -misc-tamzen-bold-r-normal--20-145-100-100-c-100-iso8859-1'

Tamzen fonts for use with Powerline

alias TamzenForPowerline-9=TamzenForPowerline5x9r alias TamzenForPowerline5x9r='font -misc-tamzenforpowerline-medium-r-normal--9-65-100-100-c-50-iso10646-1' alias TamzenForPowerline5x9b='font -misc-tamzenforpowerline-bold-r-normal--9-65-100-100-c-50-iso10646-1'

alias TamzenForPowerline-12=TamzenForPowerline6x12r alias TamzenForPowerline6x12r='font -misc-tamzenforpowerline-medium-r-normal--12-87-100-100-c-60-iso10646-1' alias TamzenForPowerline6x12b='font -misc-tamzenforpowerline-bold-r-normal--12-87-100-100-c-60-iso10646-1'

alias TamzenForPowerline-13=TamzenForPowerline7x13r alias TamzenForPowerline7x13r='font -misc-tamzenforpowerline-medium-r-normal--13-101-100-100-c-70-iso10646-1' alias TamzenForPowerline7x13b='font -misc-tamzenforpowerline-bold-r-normal--13-101-100-100-c-70-iso10646-1'

alias TamzenForPowerline-14=TamzenForPowerline7x14r alias TamzenForPowerline7x14r='font -misc-tamzenforpowerline-medium-r-normal--14-101-100-100-c-70-iso10646-1' alias TamzenForPowerline7x14b='font -misc-tamzenforpowerline-bold-r-normal--14-101-100-100-c-70-iso10646-1'

alias TamzenForPowerline-15=TamzenForPowerline8x15r alias TamzenForPowerline8x15r='font -misc-tamzenforpowerline-medium-r-normal--15-108-100-100-c-80-iso10646-1' alias TamzenForPowerline8x15b='font -misc-tamzenforpowerline-bold-r-normal--15-108-100-100-c-80-iso10646-1'

alias TamzenForPowerline-16=TamzenForPowerline8x16r alias TamzenForPowerline8x16r='font -misc-tamzenforpowerline-medium-r-normal--16-108-100-100-c-80-iso10646-1' alias TamzenForPowerline8x16b='font -misc-tamzenforpowerline-bold-r-normal--16-108-100-100-c-80-iso10646-1'

alias TamzenForPowerline-20=TamzenForPowerline10x20r alias TamzenForPowerline10x20r='font -misc-tamzenforpowerline-medium-r-normal--20-145-100-100-c-100-iso10646-1' alias TamzenForPowerline10x20b='font -misc-tamzenforpowerline-bold-r-normal--20-145-100-100-c-100-iso10646-1'


You can build the Tamzen fonts for yourself by running these commands:

bundle exec rake                 # build things only when necessary
bundle exec rake clobber         # destroy everything that we built
bundle exec rake clobber default # rebuild everything from scratch


sudo apt-get install ruby git imagemagick mercurial bdftopcf bdf2psf fonttosfnt default-jre
gem install bundler
bundle install

Requirements for bitmap-font-patcher:

sudo apt-get install python python-fontforge python-pip python-dev libfreetype6-dev
pip install --user bdflib
pip install --user Pillow


Like my work? ๐Ÿ‘ Please spare a life today as thanks! ๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ–๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ”๐Ÿฃ๐ŸŸโœจ๐Ÿ™ŠโœŒ
Why? For ๐Ÿ’• ethics, the ๐ŸŒŽ environment, and ๐Ÿ’ช health; see link above. ๐Ÿ™‡

Copyright 2011 Suraj N. Kurapati

Copyright 2010 Scott Fial

Distributed under the same terms as the Tamsyn font. See


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