How safe is it as a web designer to assume that
msttcorefonts would have beeb installed on a client machine viewing my website? If not what sans serif fonts should I use then? (for body)
Safe to assume Microsoft core fonts would be installed on client Linux?
No, Microsoft's core fonts are typically not included with Gnome or KDE installations.
You can use
font-family:sans-serif to specify the default sans-serif font on any client machine (i.e.
Consider font embedding:
If you don't like that option, I agree with danlefree's suggestion of using
font-family: sans-serif; to get the default sans-serif font.
Alternatively, I just use similar fonts (in shape, etc) that are told to be common in most distributions, and of course, they come in font-family tag after Arial or verdana or whichever I want windows users to see , so linux users will see the alternative ones instead.
For a clue, I (I use mostly san serif fonts, similar to arial, verdana, etc) tend to set these : Nimbus Sans L, FreeSans, Bitstream Vera Sans, Liberation Sans, Dejavu.
Anyway, I set always first those fitting better my design, as many linux do have those as well (often Arial, verdana, etc)
You have here a relation of most common fonts in linuxes, udpated last february.
Last note: You might be interested in having an vmware virtual machine in Windows for trial and error in using these alternative fonts. I do this quite often myself. (we at Bitnami have VMWare virtual machines with Drupal or other CMSs already all set and configured)