[Xquartz-dev] The 2.1.0 package and Apple System Fonts

Harald Hanche-Olsen hanche at math.ntnu.no
Sun Dec 2 14:17:46 PST 2007

+ Jeremy Huddleston <jeremyhu at berkeley.edu>:

> xfontsel doesn't use fontconfig as far as I can tell... It looks
> like it's using xfs and I thought appending the paths to fs/config
> would fix that, but it looks like that only fixes the problem if you
> run xfs and don't use the built-in (compile-time AFAICT) font
> directory list.

The way I understand it is this:  All X clients get font information
from the X server, not from xfs.  The client will (usually) never see
any aspect of the font other than the name, available glyphs, and
metrics.  The X server will get its fonts directly from files or from
one or more font servers (typically an xfs instance), or both.  This
is determined by the server's font path, which is listed when you run
"xset q" and is altered by running xset with one of the many font path
options available.

So, if you wish your X server to use a font server, you typically fire
up an xfs instance and tell the X server to use it by adding something
like tcp/localhost:7100 to the font path.  (Perhaps that is done
automagically by the Xserver when it starts, if xfs is already
running?  I don't know.)

Anyway, xfontsel and xlsfonts are regular X clients, so they get their
information from the X server just like any other X client does.

Disclaimers: I have no idea how X11 interacts with fontconfig. My only
practical experience with font servers was back in the days of X
terminals, and that was not in this century.  (The point being that
the X terminal, having no local file system, could only get its fonts
from a font server.  The font servers were fragile beasts that would
curl up and die if you looked at them crosswise, and we were glad to
get rid of them when the last X terminal left the building.)

Anyway, I would have guessed that you might be able to just run
mkfontscale and mkfontdir in /System/Library/Fonts and /Library/Fonts
and then add them to the font path?  It just might be worth a try.

- Harald

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