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35.4.2. Core X Font System

For compatibility, Red Hat Enterprise Linux provides the core X font subsystem, which uses the X Font Server (xfs) to provide fonts to X client applications.
The X server looks for a font server specified in the FontPath directive within the Files section of the /etc/X11/xorg.conf configuration file. Refer to Section, “Files for more information about the FontPath entry.
The X server connects to the xfs server on a specified port to acquire font information. For this reason, the xfs service must be running for X to start. For more about configuring services for a particular runlevel, refer to Chapter 18, Controlling Access to Services. xfs Configuration

The /etc/rc.d/init.d/xfs script starts the xfs server. Several options can be configured within its configuration file, /etc/X11/fs/config.
The following lists common options:
  • alternate-servers — Specifies a list of alternate font servers to be used if this font server is not available. A comma must separate each font server in a list.
  • catalogue — Specifies an ordered list of font paths to use. A comma must separate each font path in a list.
    Use the string :unscaled immediately after the font path to make the unscaled fonts in that path load first. Then specify the entire path again, so that other scaled fonts are also loaded.
  • client-limit — Specifies the maximum number of clients the font server services. The default is 10.
  • clone-self — Allows the font server to clone a new version of itself when the client-limit is hit. By default, this option is on.
  • default-point-size — Specifies the default point size for any font that does not specify this value. The value for this option is set in decipoints. The default of 120 corresponds to a 12 point font.
  • default-resolutions — Specifies a list of resolutions supported by the X server. Each resolution in the list must be separated by a comma.
  • deferglyphs — Specifies whether to defer loading glyphs (the graphic used to visually represent a font). To disable this feature use none, to enable this feature for all fonts use all, or to turn this feature on only for 16-bit fonts use 16.
  • error-file — Specifies the path and file name of a location where xfs errors are logged.
  • no-listen — Prevents xfs from listening to particular protocols. By default, this option is set to tcp to prevent xfs from listening on TCP ports for security reasons.


    If xfs is used to serve fonts over the network, remove this line.
  • port — Specifies the TCP port that xfs listens on if no-listen does not exist or is commented out.
  • use-syslog — Specifies whether to use the system error log.