Gimp 2.6 & Pango 1.8 : no font rendering

David Evans devans at
Mon Apr 13 20:45:17 PDT 2009

Ryan Schmidt wrote:
>> Pango reports the following when starting gimp:
>> Dynamic session lookup supported but failed: launchd did not provide 
>> a socket path, verify that org.freedesktop.dbus-session.plist is loaded!
>> Dynamic session lookup supported but failed: launchd did not provide 
>> a socket path, verify that org.freedesktop.dbus-session.plist is loaded!
> I get these messages too. Then again, I also have not started dbus, 
> because I did not feel like starting a system service of unknown 
> purpose just to run an application. But, you may want to activate dbus.
The purpose of dbus here is to handle the case of more than one instance 
of gimp being active.  If you launch gimp initially with a file name
on the command line, it will open that file.  If you launch a second 
instance with a different file name, the second will pass the file name
to the first via dbus and terminate with the result that the original 
now has images open in two windows, etc.  So not likely to have anything
to do with fonts at all.
>> (gimp:259): Pango-WARNING **: Error loading GDEF table 0x6EAD
>> (gimp:259): Pango-WARNING **: Error loading GSUB table 0x6EAD
>> (gimp:259): Pango-WARNING **: Error loading GPOS table 0x6EAD
> I've been getting these errors forever, with other pango-using 
> software. I don't know what to do about it. The latest bug on this is 
> filed here:

I too see these with other (X11) apps using pango (inkscape for 
instance).  They seem to be harmless but I don't really understand it 

As the maintainer of gimp2 (both X11 and no_x11/quartz versions) and who 
does a lot of development in the quartz environment, in my
experience, the only practical way to avoid this type of problem is to 
use separate instances of MacPorts for X11 and for no_x11/quartz.

While you might be able to get a mixed instance to work, the effort is 
tremendous because to build and run a specific version you
have to make sure that not only the port in question but all of its 
dependencies are built with the correct variants (in this case +no_x11
+quartz).  So Ryan's solution to set up a separate instance of MacPorts 
with a different base path is really what I recommend.  Then build
all your +no_x11 +quartz variants there (setting these as global 
variants in $prefix/etc/macports/variants.conf).  You can easily then change
from an X11 instance to a quartz instance by just changing your PATH to 
point at the one you want.  I am currently maintaining 3 such
X11, no_x11/quartz and system_x11 with good success.

The only other caveat is that using the trunk version of MacPorts 
helpful when doing this as it is the only version that currently
honors the variants of dependents when doing an upgrade.  Hopefully a 
released version of MacPorts with this functionality
will be released before long.

So using a clean no_x11/quartz environment for gimp2, I get no error 
messages at all starting gimp and the same results as Ryan
has displayed.

I suspect that a  number of the reports of GOffice and other apps not 
working correctly no_x11/quartz is due to the same problem of mixing X11
and no_x11 in the same instance of MacPorts -- not realistic to think 
that you can do this and have the right selection of ports/variants
active at any given point in time.


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