From Fedora Project Wiki

Malayalam Default Fonts Update


This change will update existing default Malayalam fonts and also rename to new upstream source, which brings improved text shaping, better glyphs for readability, Unicode 13 support, Appstream data amongst other improvements.


Current status

Detailed Description

Till Fedora 35, Meera (smc-meera-fonts) and Rachana (smc-rachana-fonts) fonts were default sans-serif and serif fonts for Malayalam script/language. From Fedora 36, these are obsolete by Meera New (rit-meera-new-fonts) and RIT Rachana (rit-rachana-fonts) respectively.

Style F35 Fontname F36 Fontname
Sans-Serif Meera Meera New
Serif Rachana RIT Rachana

A new collection of Malayalam fonts suited for various publishing work is also introduced.

Fontname Uasge
Sundar Display/title font
TN Joy Display/title font
Ezhuthu Script/cursive/handwriting style font
Panmana Body text font

Benefit to Fedora

Enhance the experience of Fedora for Malayalam users by improving font rendering quality, flawless OpenType shaping and improved glyph shapes, with Unicode 13.0 support. All fonts also contain supporting metadata such as AppStream.

Major improvements brought by the new Malayalam fonts include:

  1. Redrawn glyph shapes for better readability and font metrics.[1]
  2. Regular, Bold, Italic and BoldItalic variants for many fonts; most variants are not present in older fonts.
  3. Consistent, flawless OpenType text shaping: redesigned OTL rules fixes all longstanding shaping issues.[2]
  4. Various fonts designed for different purposes of typesetting/publishing/design work (body text, display/title, informal/cursive fonts).
  5. Fonts containing more than 900 glyphs for ‘comprehensive character set’ for Malayalam script; and fonts with ‘limited character set’ having lesser conjuncts suited for title text.
  6. Unicode 13.0 support in many fonts, with archaic characters suited for reproducing historical text/scriptures.
  7. AppStream metadata which provides preview of the font in software installers like GNOME Software and Discover
  8. Previous upstream (SMC) has stopped maintaining default fonts in Fedora. New upstream (RIT) is actively maintaining the fonts.
  9. Notable differences with Noto {Sans,Serif} Malayalam fonts are the ‘reformed’ script which contains very less conjunct characters, while all RIT fonts are ‘traditional’ script fonts. The ex-height and em-size of RIT fonts are more suitable for reading/composing long Malayalam text on web/print.


  • Proposal owners:
  1. Add new packages rit-meera-new-fonts and rit-rachana-fonts BZ1 BZ2
  2. update langpacks package for these font packages PR
  3. update fedora-comps to install these new Malayalam fonts by default PR
  4. As this package is used during anaconda installation, update lorax PR
  • Other developers: N/A (not a System Wide Change)
  • Release engineering: N/A (not a System Wide Change)
  • Policies and guidelines: N/A (not a System Wide Change)
  • Trademark approval: N/A (not needed for this Change)

Upgrade/compatibility impact

N/A (not a System Wide Change)

How To Test

  • Check Malayalam web sites which uses both Malayalam Sans and Serif fonts
  • Use LibreOffice, use Sans and Serif fonts to see if it uses different fonts
  • also check the output of following commands giving new package names
    • fc-match sans-serif:lang=ml
    • fc-match serif:lang=ml

User Experience

  • With good quality Malayalam Sans and Serif fonts, the Desktop or Web Browser

will display with both Sans and Serif fonts.

  • With different Sans and Serif fonts, the Workstation will have better

font rendering quality.


N/A (not a System Wide Change)

Contingency Plan

Revert to use older Malayalam fonts.

  • Contingency mechanism: (What to do? Who will do it?) N/A (not a System Wide Change)
  • Contingency deadline: N/A (not a System Wide Change)
  • Blocks release? N/A (not a System Wide Change), No
  • Blocks product? No


Release Notes

By using both Malayalam Sans and Serif fonts, the Workstation will improve Malayalam fonts rendering quality and better OpenType shaping for users.

  1. KH Hussain et al., Beyond Roman fonts: Extra dimensions in Malayalam fonts,
  2. KV Rajeesh, A new set of OpenType shaping rules for Malaylam,