problem with fonts and Xft

Gene Heskett gene.heskett at
Tue Oct 5 08:24:51 PDT 2004

On Tuesday 05 October 2004 02:34, Marius Hillenbrand wrote:
>Yesterday I've begun my switch to X11R6.8.1 (from XFree86 4.3
> before) - mainly because of the better support for my Radeon 9200
> SE (hope for 3D). The build was without problems, I even managed to
> install the manual pages ( helps ;-) ).
>But: Just starting over kdm (after generating xorg.conf, of course)
>resulted in a mess. The fonts were invisible and in totally wrong
> metrics. For example the login etc. buttons in kdm are empty and
> larger than usual and the kdm login window does not fit the screen.
>Directly using startx resulted in same behaviour, the graphices
> itself is alright, but fonts are invisible and "too large".
>Old little xterm, started from .xsession, worked alright, however.
>So I assume the problem lies with the Xft extension, which is used
> by KDE (IMHO).
>The underlying system is Debian woody (+dirty updates) on i386 (K7).
>The problem is "critical", since the system is my parents' one (was
> enough work to convert them to Linux).
>Does anybody have the slightest idea what may cause the problem or
> where to look for bad configuration / check libraries ???
>Strangely, reverting to XFree86 4.3 (tarred /usr/X11R6 and /etc/X11)
> does downgrade to XF 4.3, but the problem now arises there, too. My
> backup didn't cover /etc/fonts, is fonts.conf or local.conf
> "powerful" enough to cause this problem ??
>Thank you very much in advance,
>Marius Hillenbrand

Have you still got an xfs server in your /etc/rc.d/init.d and all its 
starter links in whatever runlevel you use?

I ask because it was wiped totally by the unwanted install of 
xorg-6.7.0-whatever here by yums automatic update, which overwrote my 
fresh 6.8.1 install I was likeing very much.

Someone said the script in the rpm was broken and had been for a 
couple of years, and that bugreports had been filed against it way 
back then.

Anyway, thanks to running amanda here, the recovery was fairly 
painless after the smoke from both ears cleared, I just went and got 
all those scripts back from the backup.  Rebuilding and re-installing 
X11R6.8.1 will be of no help in this instant case if indeed xfs is 

Question for Kieth P.  Shouldn't xfs be part of your package?  It 
would sure prevent scenarios such as the one I just encountered, and 
which this user might be the victim of too?  Then the rpms could do 
as they well please, and a fresh make install would fix it all right 
back up.  yum users who have built X from srcs should have in their 
exclude list an "xorg*" until such time as the friggin rpms have been 

Cheers, Gene
"There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty:
 soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order."
-Ed Howdershelt (Author)
99.27% setiathome rank, not too shabby for a WV hillbilly attorneys please note, additions to this message
by Gene Heskett are:
Copyright 2004 by Maurice Eugene Heskett, all rights reserved.

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