A component used in Linux font rendering called "Pango" has intentionally dropped support for bitmap font formats.
See their issue thread about it here for details of why: https://gitlab.gnome...OME/pango/issues/386
Short version is, they want to delete a lot of nasty old code and use some other component, which will allow them to get past some otherwise unsolvable problems. Unfortunately bitmap support is lost in this new design.
This version of Pango is making its way into Linux distributions like Ubuntu "Focal" (for release March 2020) I think it is already released in Arch.
The upshot is all bitmap fonts appear as 'tofu' (boxes of hex digits).
I filed a bug against Ubuntu's Focal release: https://bugs.launchp...ango1.0/+bug/1861340
and I chatted with Canonical staff (I'm a Canonical employee) who told me there isn't much they can do. They don't have the resources available to do much other than go along with whatever the upstream Pango devs decide to do.
All hope is not lost for Linux Dina users! They will still support bitmaps that are packaged up as a "Vector format which contains embedded bitmaps." People report some success converting other bitmap fonts using various tools. I say "some" success, because bitmap font users are upset that the output has ugly problems such as such as spacing between characters, and everyone else doesn't really care, which is saddening. But in my experiments (below), these problems didn't manifest for Dina, possibly because it is monospace.
I have tried:
1. GUI app FontForge. I tried installing this to do the conversion on Dina, I infer from the conversation linked above that one needs to use the dialog produced by the 'File / generate' menu option, but I am totally unable to understand the UI of its many dozens of options.
2. Command line app fonttosfnt. Using an invocation like:
fonttosfnt -v -r -b -c -g 2 -m 2 -o DinaR.otb DinaR.fon
I then did my normal font install process (copy the resulting otb file to my ~/.fonts/dina directory, and ran 'fc-cache -f')
This produced a useable Dina font! However it isn't quite right. Only two of the smaller sizes are visible, and the 'regular' font seems significantly heavier than I expect, as though it were 'bold' and the bold were 'double bold'. I don't yet know why. I just realized I'm only using v2.92 of Dina, I'll try again with the latest release (v2.93) and report back any successes.
Also, I tried an identical fonttosfnt invocation on Dina's BDF files, but that gives me an error "Couldn't select character map: 6".
Fare thee well, fellow bitmap officionados,