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I have two Mac OS X clients, both running XQuartz 2.1.6 (xorg-server 1.4.2-apple33). When I SSH into a remote linux system enabling X11 forwarding and launch gnome-terminal, on one Mac the terminal looks correct while on the other, the fonts are all screwy!

[jnet@Stan ~]$ ssh -X jnet@kyle.local gnome-terminal produces: Lookin good!

powerbook:~ hp$ ssh -X jnet@kyle.local gnome-terminal produces: OH MY GOD, MY EYES!!!!!

The problem goes away on the powerbook if I zoom in twice: Looks OK only because the image is scaled down to fit

Edit: This affects a number of apps, not just gnome-terminal. It also affects Thunderbird, for example.

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I would love to tag as [x11] [fonts], can anyone help a new user out? –  Josh Oct 4 '10 at 16:05
    
Thanks for the tags, @Steven! –  Josh Oct 4 '10 at 19:39
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1 Answer

Looks like a font problem - run Font Book.app, click All Fonts, then select all the fonts in the middle pane (cmd-a) and choose File -> Validate Font from the menu. This will produce a report of any fonts with issues.

If you find a broken font file, look where it is residing:

  • if it's a system font (any path not in /Users), replace it from install media or the working Mac (easier)
  • if it's a user font (any path in /Users), delete it - the system fonts should be sufficient, but user fonts take precedence, so if the user installed some borked font it can cause this.
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