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Old 12-01-2007, 02:16 PM   #1
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Registered: Oct 2005
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Wink xterm and fontconfig not getting along

I just finished a CLFS build, and got a comfortable system built on top of it, with firefox and my terminal environment. Anyway, xterm-229 is having problems with a correct configuration of fontconfig-2.4.2. With the <dir></dir> line(s) in my fonts.conf pointing to the correct font directory, xterm won't load any font other than fixed. If I take that line out, xterm will load fonts normally.

The problem of course is that programs that work correctly, like firefox, can't find their fonts unless fontconfig knows where to look for them, so my "fix" breaks firefox and most other GUI apps as well.

I should point out that xterm is at least verifying the name of the fonts, since it prints an error when I give a nonsense name, but not when I give a real one. For example:

% xterm -fn 8x16
% xterm -fn foobar
xterm: unable to open font "foobar", trying "fixed"....

Yet the first one is loading fixed anyway; it just isn't telling me about it.

I'd guess that without the <dir> line, xterm is falling back a non-fontconfig way of finding its fonts, which happens to be working.

I'm lost. Anyone have an idea?
Old 12-01-2007, 04:47 PM   #2
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Registered: Oct 2005
Posts: 14

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I apparently solved the problem. It seems no xterm I'd ever used on other unixes had been built with Xft support. When Xft support is compiled in, one must add "XTerm*renderFont: false" to .Xdefaults to prevent the -fa option (and XTerm*faceName) from overriding -fn (and XTerm*font). Or one could make sure the default bitmap fonts are seen by fontconfig and use -fa with their freetype names.

Tough problem, so sorry for the trouble.


fontconfig, fonts, xterm

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