[Fontconfig] fontconfig with non-local Xserver

Juliusz Chroboczek jch at pps.jussieu.fr
Wed Dec 10 05:22:52 EST 2003


WS> Installing fonts on the box just to run fc-cache seems silly and
WS> counter-productive, as the X server will be using the fonts installed on
WS> it, not the ones on this box. 

There's a misunderstanding here.  Xft uses client-side fonts: all
rendering is done on the client, and the X-server is just used for
pushing pixmaps around.  Counterintuitive as it seems, this is much
more efficient than server-side fonts as soon as fonts have a lot of
glyphs (as modern fonts tend to do).  It is also the only sane way to
support complex typography (Arabic etc.)

WS> Also, it doesn't scale well, as it means that I have to install
WS> (and maintain) fonts on all the boxes I have, as opposed to just
WS> the Xserver.

Eventually, when core fonts are gone, you'll only have to install
fonts on the one machine that runs X clients, and not on every single
X terminal.

Currently, however, you do indeed need to install fonts on both the
server (for applications that still use core fonts) and the client
(for applications that use Xft).  Using a font server on the machine
running the clients might simplify things -- but I don't recommend it.
Remote-mounting fonts over NFS or Samba might be a better idea.


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