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Old 01-04-2009, 11:48 PM
"Fernando J. Rodríguez (Herr Groucho)"
Default Trying to use konsoles's own console8x16.pcf.gz in konsole

I was happily using the font "console8x16.pcf.gz" in konsole until
yesterday I dist-upgraded my lenny system. The next time I started my
KDE session, konsole was displaying text in "Andale Mono" (first font
available in alphabetical order) instead of the
aformentioned "console8x16" font. I came to this list looking for
enlightment on how konsole is supposed to use the very font it
provides in /usr/share/apps/konsole/fonts/...

Some research I already did:
Konsole since a couple of years started to special-case the "console"
font in some ways.
Currently, if I go to Preferences -> Font -> Select... [1] the list
apparently contains fonts known to the X server that are fixed width,
but console8x16 does not appear. There is instead a menu
item "Install Bitmap..." [2] that proposes to "install"
into "fonts:/Personal" the two font files that are
in /usr/share/apps/konsole/fonts/... I reluctantly agreed, not
knowing what was that "install" about (was it to download something
from some random KDE server?), nor what was that other "fonts:/"
about, other than guessing it is some fancy folder that Konqueror
builds from who knows where to display installed fonts it gathers who
knows how. After restarting Konsole, it was still not using
console8x16, nor console appeared in the font selection list. But I
learned about some ~/.fonts directory where the font files went! I
also checked in Konqueror what contained fonts:/Personal and it was
empty. Then I dropped a few random font files and the only ones
listed afterwards were those of TrueType nature. So, no wonder
konsole didn't use console8x16: it was invisible to KDE. Was it also
invisible to the X server? Yes, it was not listed using xfontsel.
My next idea was to check Xorg's log:
(==) FontPath set to:

Right, so the X server was not looking fonts
in /usr/share/apps/konsole/fonts nor in ~/.fonts.
I then read about /etc/fonts/conf.d/ and followed the proposal of
Debian bug #449151 about instructing fontconfig to use
the /usr/share/apps/konsole/fonts directory. I restarted the X server
and ran fc-cache -v -f to be sure (and the other way around to be
more sure), and now xfontsel shows the console8x16 font
as "misc-console-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*", despite the X server did
not have its font path altered in any way... which is intriguing for
me becase I don't understand what Xorg use of fontconfig is... Can
anyone give me a clue?
By the way, in konsole's font selection dialog, "console" was still
missing, and Andale Mono was still used. It looks like it only list
TrueType or other vector types of fonts, because the others are "too

So, I'm thinking that:
- It is a bug in KDE to asume that whatever is dropped in ~/.fonts
will make its way through the X server to KDE-based applications.
- The Debian packaging of KDE should be so that the former assumption
is valid.
- GNU/Linux is turning in such a user-friendly system by means of
doing vast amounts of complex and "you-don't-need-to-understand-this,
it'll-just-work" things under the hood that your regular geek is
becoming to feel uncomfortable

[1] or something to that effect, I'm using a Spanish localization
where it actually reads Preferencias -> Tipo de letra [3]->
[2] or something to that effect, I'm using a Spanish localization
where it actually reads Instalar Bitmap.
[3] A big hurray! for the bold translator that correctly
translated "font" as "tipo de letra" and not as the familiar,
Windows-perpetrated false cognate "fuente".

With regards,
Herr Groucho

ID Jabber: groucho@lugmen.org.ar
Señal distintiva: LU5MJR - 144,550 MHz FM.
Clave pública GPG: hkp://pks.lugmen.org.ar
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