Emacs font weight on Linux


For the past months I've mostly used a Macbook Pro from 2015, but now I'm trying to switch to a Linux workstation that I've bought about 5 years ago as well. Mostly I'm missing the speed of the workstation, but I was also looking forward to develop using a Linux environment again. Setting up Emacs and a terminal emulator, I ran into a font rendering issue where the font that Emacs would use would be "bolder" than the one the terminal emulator uses:

Font rendering differences for Emacs on Linux

Poking at the issue in different ways, my suspicion was that Emacs chooses a different font even though the specification is the same (to my eyes). I tried several different ways to specify the font to use for Emacs, following the Fonts manual page, or selecting it via the menu option menu-set-font.

Long story short, I finally found this question on Stack Exchange and the first comment did the trick:

Have you tried to set it like this "Ubuntu-11:weight=book"?
That helped me with Roboto Mono.

So changing the weight to book caused Emacs to select the desired regular or medium weight. Oh well. Haven't found a more explicit way to reference the specific font I prefer, but for now using the weight of a book works 🤷.