I have

# xset -q

and for example a /usr/share/fonts/misc/fonts.alias, that defines "fixed":

(cd /usr/share/fonts; grep '^fixed' */fonts.alias)

and I though that the fonts.alias would match for fontnames:

# xlsfonts -fn fixed

(though the encoding iso8859-1 isn't even listed in any fonts.dir), actually

# grep '^fixed' */fonts.alias     # in /usr/share/fonts
misc/fonts.alias:fixed        -misc-fixed-medium-r-semicondensed--13-120-75-75-c-60-iso8859-1

that seems the right match, but

# grep '^7x13bold' */fonts.alias
misc/fonts.alias:7x13bold     -misc-fixed-bold-r-normal--13-120-75-75-c-70-iso8859-1

I get

# xlsfonts -fn 7x13bold
xlsfonts: pattern "7x13bold" unmatched


# xfig
Warning: Cannot convert string "7x13bold" to type FontStruct

so as far as I used to understand it, the XServer should match against fonts.alias, but doesn't.

How does the Xorg Server matches fixed otherwise and fails to match 7x13bold or any other short form?

Please don't tell me about fontconfig. I know fontconfig and how to use it, but that does not help with legacy XLoadFont operation that XFig uses, for example.

May I need a xfontserver? I can't even see a gentoo package for the old xfs, possible because of security issues. Any further ideas welcome!

  • It seems that modern Xorg installation just support XLFD. Maybe we should fix the defaults for legacy programs like xfig.
    – ikrabbe
    Commented Sep 12, 2015 at 17:03
  • I found the(?) solution. fonts.alias is not encoding agnostic. The encoding has to match the XLFD in the auto-generated fonts.dir. I don't know yet why the XServer is able to map "fixed", though the alias was wrong too. BUT: You can simply edit (reduce) the fonts.alias to match the fonts.dir and do a xset -fp PATH; xset +fp PATH to make the XServer re-read the aliases. Now the aliases work again. So actually this should be fixed from within the font package of the distribution.
    – ikrabbe
    Commented Sep 13, 2015 at 7:16


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