I just installed KDE 3.5 on my new openBSD 5.4 i386 box. At the moment I don't know that much about openBSD or Unix. For that matter, this is my learning-box.

I installed KDE from a mirror, and when it finished it said something about "You may wish to update your font path for /usr/local/share/ghostscript/fonts". Of course, not knowing what this is I proceed forth into KDE. As soon as it runs I notice that there's no text in the drop-down menus where things like different languages should be. I proceed until I reach the desktop and notice that there's no text in any of the menus for anything...

What am I doing wrong here?

* Edit *

After messing around with the GUI elements of KDE for a while I found something interesting: If I have a window open (let's say Control Center) and none of the text shows up in the left-hand pane (like Appearance, Desktop, and Internet & Network) if I drag the window a bit the text will appear... This trick does not work for the little KDE start button on the taskbar though (since I can't move it around). I tried changing the font to something else, but it has the same effect... The plot thickens

  • What graphics card do you have and which driver you use for it? You'd also show the contents of /var/log/Xorg.0.log.
    – user37607
    Commented Jan 12, 2014 at 8:45

2 Answers 2


As the message says, you need to update the font path: that can be done with one of the two following commands:

  • This adds a new font path, which seems to be your case:

    $ xset +fp /usr/local/share/ghostscript/fonts
  • This just updates the current font paths, without adding new paths:

    $ xset fp rehash

Excerpt from OpenBSD's FAQ about Anti-aliasing and TrueType Fonts:

Finally, to apply the changes to the current X session, instead of restarting X, the following command can be used to re-examine the currently registered font paths for changes:

$ xset fp rehash

Or, if a new font path was added:

$ xset +fp /usr/local/lib/X11/fonts/myfonts
  • It doesn't appear that the fonts are actually missing. It seems more like a graphical issue at this point. But thanks for the suggestion! Commented Jan 11, 2014 at 21:59
  • @user1676402 Thanks for correcting, I'll see if I can find something.
    – user37607
    Commented Jan 12, 2014 at 7:00

After finishing my earlier edit I started doing research on graphics cards and drivers and found out what was most likely my problem: The ancient laptop I was using for openBSD had an nVidia card which (being that nVidia is generally not supported in openBSD) was not helping with the video performance any. The screen and windows were probably rendering terribly causing extreme lag in the rendering of the anti-aliased fonts. This may explain why fonts wouldn't render until I forced a particular window to furiously update its contents.

Resolution: I will have to invest in a dedicated openBSD machine instead of relying on garbage

but thanks Risto for the help! You were pointing me in the right direction!

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