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Old 07-19-2006, 10:58 AM   #1
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Registered: Jul 2006
Distribution: Ubuntu Dapper
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Font-caching problem - slow app startup

I posted a while back regarding my apps launching slowly. I ran 'strace gedit' and watched the output. Things slowed down significantly when reading in font files. I tried re-running fc-cache -v -f and reconfiguring font-config as well but nothing helped speed up the application launching.

The fc-cache command seemed to create all the font-cache files, but maybe the apps are not using them for some reason.

However I did try moving about half of the fonts in my /usr/share/X11/fonts/100dpi and 75dpi folders to a temporary folder on my home folder. This sped up the launching of apps by about 50%. Now Gedit launches in about 5 seconds instead of 10. Not ideal, but much more tolerable.

My system is relatively modern so this type of slowness should not be happening. It's a P4-3Ghz with 1GB ram.

My questions are:

1. Is it safe to remove font files from these folders? I'm not sure if these fonts are used or not. Would X not run right if I only left a couple of fonts in these folders?

2. It is not these specific fonts that are causing the slowdown. All the statements in the strace output regarding font files seem signficantly slower to execute than others. They make the most difference since that's where the majority of my fonts are located (397 in each folder). Obviously removing the font files is a crude workaround. There has to be some more significant problem since I don't think I have any more fonts installed than anyone else. I just don't think the font-caching mechanism is working right. Maybe the font reading speed is normal but the caching should eliminate it completely. Is there some way of completely reinstalling the font caching mechanism to speed things up? Or is there some way to diagnose where the problem lies?

3. Is there some guide about the settings I should be choosing when I run dpkg reconfigure font-config? I'm not 100% sure of how I'm answering the prompts. I figured the default settings would be fine, but maybe I have to choose something else that would solve my problem.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Old 07-19-2006, 11:00 AM   #2
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Registered: Jul 2006
Distribution: Ubuntu Dapper
Posts: 4

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I forgot to mention that I'm running Ubuntu Dapper, if that makes a difference I'm not sure.


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