I have seen lines like the one below, in a number of config files (xmobar has one of these and dmenu too has this)

  1. What is the meaning of each token which is separated by a hyphen (-)?
  2. Where can I see a list of fonts which I can use in these configs?

There is another variation of this with obvious placeholders. Where can I see a list of fonts for this? (I understand that xft fonts are different)

xft:Bitstream Vera Sans Mono:size=10:antialias=true

2 Answers 2


xfontsel will allow you to view, select and adjust all of these fields:

xfontsel in action...

You can also use the command xlsfonts to see a list of installed fonts. This will list all fonts, so you may want to pipe it through grep to view required subsets, eg,: xlsfonts | grep droid

Similarly, fc-list will display a list of all installed fonts.

You can read more about the differences between core and Xft fonts here: http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Guide_to_X11/Fonts#Core_versus_Xft_fonts


The former is a X logical font descriptor; the linked article describes each field. The xfontsel tool can help you create a XLFD interactively.

The latter is a Xft font name. While there are API calls for enumerating the various fonts, I don't know of any tool that exposes it since most have changed over to Fontconfig already.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.