I like to use tiny bitmap fonts like MonteCarlo for programming, but by default Ubuntu has bitmap font support turned off. From (at least) Gutsy through to Intrepid, this method worked for enabling bitmap font support, but after installing the Jaunty beta I found this no longer works.
Luckily, after a brief look in /etc/fonts, I found that font configuration now follows the nice pattern of a conf.avail directory containing all the available configuration parts, and conf.d containing symlinks to these parts. This makes enabling bitmap fonts even simpler now:
# "Un-disable" bitmap fonts sudo rm /etc/fonts/conf.d/70-no-bitmaps.conf # Clear the font cache sudo fc-cache -f -v
Now you should be able to drop bitmap (i.e. PCF) fonts into ~/.fonts as you would with TTF fonts and be able to use them with no extra hassle.
Update: Andreas asked in the comments if there was a way to do this that doesn't require root access. In fact there is! If you copy /etc/fonts/conf.avail/70-force-bitmaps.conf to ~/.fonts.conf then it has the same effect. (If you already have a ~/.fonts.conf then you'll want to merge them together; copy everything inside <fontconfig>...</fontconfig> from 70-force-bitmaps.conf and put it just before </fontconfig> in ~/.fonts.conf.)