Even after I run dpkg-reconfigure fontconfig (and getting the message Regenerating fonts cache... done.), font-related programs such as fc-list, xfontsel, gnome-font-viewer, etc. omit some fonts contained in packages (e.g. xfonts-cyrillic) that I have previously installed (with apt-get).

The files for the omitted fonts get installed under /usr/share/fonts, one of the directories specified in my system-wide fonts.conf file. It's worth noting that, e.g. fc-list does list many other fonts under this directory.

Why are these fonts being ignored?

EDIT: FWIW, doing xset fp rehash did not help either.

1 Answer 1


There's more than one point:

  • xfonts-cyrillic is a bitmap font and normally not shown with fc-list.
  • bitmap fonts are shown with xlsfonts
  • in turn, that uses the X server's fontpath, which you can see using xset q, e.g.,
   Font Path:

Though the manual page says cyrillic is in the default configuration, it is not — until you restart X. Then you would see something like this:

Font Path:

If you do not see that, you can always add to the fontpath by adding an Xorg configuration file as noted in Additional font path for Xorg, but no xorg.conf.

Once it is in your fontpath, you should be able to see this font using xlsfonts '*cronyx*', e.g.,


as well as with xfontsel.

  • Thanks, but I'm a bit confused by your assertion on fc-list and bitmapped fonts. When I run fc-list, the output I get includes several bitmapped fonts, including Terminus and Clean, among others...
    – kjo
    Commented Mar 23, 2016 at 0:15
  • I said "normally". You can configure a bitmap font to be found by fc-list, but it does not by default use the same indices as the X server, so requires more work. Only a small fraction of the bitmap-fonts on my system are shown with fc-list. Sometime I may write a how-to (since there seems to be none...). Commented Mar 23, 2016 at 0:17
  • At list for terminus, when one runs apt-get install xfonts-terminus, 50-enable-terminus.conf gets added to /etc/fonts/conf.d, and this file does have an <acceptfont> section culminating in <patelt name="family"><string>terminus</string></patelt>, as you say. In order to replicate this recipe, though, I need a way to find the magic string to replace ??? with in <patelt name="family"><string>???</string></patelt>, for each omitted font. My usual way of getting such font info is from fc-list -v, but obviously that won't work in this case... More digging ahead. Thanks again.
    – kjo
    Commented Mar 23, 2016 at 0:32

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