Red Hat Linux uses two methods to manage fonts and display under XFree86. The
newer Fontconfig font subsystem simplifies font management and provides
advanced display features, such as anti-aliasing. This system is used
automatically for applications programmed using the Qt 3 or GTK+ 2
For compatibility, Red Hat Linux includes the original font subsystem, called
the core X font subsystem. This system, which is over 15 years old, is
based around the X Font Server
This section discusses how to configure fonts for X using both systems.
The Fontconfig font subsystem allows applications to directly access
fonts on the system and use Xft or other rendering mechanisms to render Fontconfig
fonts with advanced anti-aliasing. Graphical applications can use the
Xft library with Fontconfig to draw text to the screen.
Over time, the Fontconfig/Xft font subsystem will replace the core X
The Fontconfig font subsystem does not yet work for
Abiword, which use their own font
It is important to note that Fontconfig share the
/etc/fonts/fonts.conf configuration file, which
replaces the /etc/X11/XftConfig. The Fontconfig
configuration file should not be edited by hand.
Due to the transition to the new font system, GTK+ 1.2 applications
are not affected by any changes made via the Font
Preferences dialog (accessed by selecting Main
Menu Button [on the Panel] =>
Font). For these applications, a font can
be configured by adding the following lines to the file
Replace <font-specification> with a
font specification in the style used by traditional X applications,
A full list of core fonts can be obtained by running
xlsfonts or created interactively using
22.214.171.124. Adding Fonts to Fontconfig
Adding new fonts to the Fontconfig subsystem is a straightforward
To add fonts systemwide, copy the new fonts into the
To add fonts for an individual user, copy the new fonts into the
.fonts/ directory in the user's home directory.
Use the fc-cache command to update the font
information cache, as in the following example:
In this command, replace
<path-to-font-directory> with the
directory containing the new fonts (either
Individual users may also install fonts graphically, by browsing to
fonts:/// in Nautilus, and dragging the new
font files there.
If the font filename ends with a .gz extension,
it is compressed and cannot be used until uncompressed. To do this,
use the gunzip command or double-click the file
and drag the font to a directory in
7.4.2. Core X Font System
For compatibility, Red Hat Linux still provides the core X font subsystem,
which uses the X Font Server (xfs) to provide fonts
to X client applications.
The XFree86 server looks for a font server specified in the
FontPath entry under the Files
section of the /etc/X11/XF86Config configuration
file. Refer to Section 126.96.36.199 Files
for more information on the FontPath entry.
The XFree86 server connects to the xfs server on a
specified port to acquire font information. For this reason, the
xfs service must be running in order for X to
start. For more on configuring services for a particular runlevel,
refer to the chapter titled Controlling Access to
Services in the Red Hat Linux Customization Guide.
188.8.131.52. xfs Configuration
The /etc/rc.d/init.d/xfs script starts the
xfs server. Several options can be configured in
the /etc/X11/fs/config file.
The following is a list of the more common options:
alternate-servers — Specifies a list
of alternate font servers to be used if this font server is not
available. A comma must separate every font server in the list.
catalogue — Specifies an ordered list
of font paths to use. A comma must follow every font path before a
new font path can be started in the list.
Use the string :unscaled immediately
after the font path to make the unscaled fonts in that path load
first. Then specify the entire path again, so that other
scaled fonts will also be loaded.
client-limit — Specifies the maximum
number of clients the font server will service. The default is
clone-self — Allows the font server
to clone a new version of itself when the
client-limit is hit. By default, this option is
default-point-size — Specifies the
default point size for any font that does not specify this
value. The value for this option is set in decipoints. The default
of 120 corresponds to a 12 point font.
default-resolutions — Specifies a list of
resolutions supported by the XFree86 server. Each resolution in
the list must be separated by a comma.
deferglyphs — Specifies whether to
defer loading glyphs (the graphic used to
visually represent a font). To disable this feature use
none, to enable this feature for all fonts use
all, or to turn this this feature on only for
16-bit fonts use 16.
error-file — Specifies the path and
file name of a location where xfs errors are
no-listen — Prevents
xfs from listening to particular protocols. By
default, this option is set to tcp to prevent
xfs from listening on TCP ports for security
reasons. If using xfs to serve fonts over the
network, remove this line.
port — Specifies the TCP port that
xfs will listen on if
no-listen does not exist or is commented out.
use-syslog — Specifies whether or not
to use the system error log.
184.108.40.206. Adding Fonts to xfs
To add fonts to the core X font subsystem (xfs),
follow these steps:
If it does not already exist, create a directory called
/usr/share/fonts/local/ using the following
command as root:
If creating the /usr/share/fonts/local/
directory is necessary, it must be added to the xfs
path using the following command as root:
chkfontpath --add /usr/share/fonts/local/
Copy the new font file into the
Update the font information by issuing the following
command as root: