Rant about "could not open default font"

Tiago Vignatti vignatti at c3sl.ufpr.br
Mon May 19 21:46:45 PDT 2008

TitCouille Mandriva escreveu:
> Hello,
> I just want to rant about the "could not open default font 'fixed'",
> the "fatal error" that made reinstall 2 times Mandriva Linux. I'm
> probably just an idiot, for not being to configure things correctly,
> but I read that it is "by far the most popular Frequently Asked
> Question" so maybe there's a reason to that. The error is described in
> http://www.x.org/wiki/FAQErrorMessages but that page was not as
> usefully as it should be. There's many things described in there that
> differ from what I see on my system :
> 1/ FAQ says that the log filename in "/var/log/Xorg.0.log" but mine is
> "Xorg.9.log". What is the difference?
> 2/ FAQ says that the font location is specified through FontPath
> lines. However, I have no such lines in my "/usr/share/X11/xorg.conf".
> In fact, I have no Files section at all in "xorg.conf". Reading my
> log, I noticed that the fonts are loaded through a catalogue with
> dirname "fontpath.d". Why is this not mentioned in the FAQ?
> First, I found out that the catalogue dirname is specified in
> "/usr/share/X11/fs/config", where there's a line :
> catalogue = catalogue:/usr/share/fonts/fontpath.d
> However, when I went to that directory, I didn't understand anything:
> how it works, what are the weird "pri=50", etc.
> Why not use a simple "FixedFont=exact_font_filepath" line? From the
> little I understood, Xorg currently follows 100 of different symbolic
> links and configuration lines to reach the real font filename. The
> problem is that when one of those links or lines breaks, it seems
> impossible for the average user to recover.
> 3/ I noticed in my log the following warning :
> `fonts.dir' not found (or not valid) in "/usr/share/fonts/drakfont".
> 	Entry deleted from font path.
> 	(Run 'mkfontdir' on "/usr/share/fonts/drakfont").
> But I have to say the "mkfontdir" never outputs any message, Just a
> simple "Successful" message would be enough for me. I type "mkfontdir
> /usr/share/fonts/drakfont", no output. I type "mkfontdir --help", no
> output. I type "mkfontdir", without arguments, in the needed
> directory, no output. Of course, impossible to understand how
> "mkfontdir" works, what it changes to the twisted system of links and
> configuration lines.

Just set --enable-builtin-font to configure.

(Any complains to put this as default to X compilation?)


Tiago Vignatti
C3SL - Centro de Computação Científica e Software Livre

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