The Linux and open-source communities have done a pretty good job of coming up with open-source analogs of the proprietary components necessary to get things done with your computer. However, there is a particularly high-profile exception that leaps to mind: fonts.
Although the basic appearances of such fonts as Times New Roman and Arial have been around for quite a while and could arguably be classified as part of the public domain, computer fonts have a great deal of design complexity and are copyrighted by their creators. This generally keeps them out of open-source software distributions.
In my quest for more attractive Linux fonts, Ive often turned to Microsoft, which, until recently, provided a set of good fonts for free download from its typography site, www.microsoft.com/ typography. I say recently because after Linux vendors such as Mandrake began including software that made it easy to download and install these fonts on Linux systems, Microsoft yanked its free download page, citing “abuse.” However, the license terms under which Microsoft had been distributing the fonts didnt, and dont, preclude others from making them available. You can download a set for yourself at corefonts.sourceforge.net.