Difference in rendering xft fonts in xorg-server and XQuartz.app

Richard Cobbe rcobbe at pobox.com
Tue May 28 00:25:46 UTC 2019

I just got a new MacBook and I'm setting up macports on it as part of the
initial configuration.  I've been using macports with XQuartz for many
years, but I gather that XQuartz is no longer actively maintained, so I
figured I'd try xorg-server instead.  Everything installed fine and I'm
able to open and use clients, but using xft fonts in urxvt (also installed
via macports) doesn't produce the same results on screen under xorg-server
as it does under XQuartz.

I've put screen shots of the results at <https://imgur.com/a/TTNFx8b>.  The
first image contains the results under XQuartz, and the second under
xorg-server.  This is urxvt from the rxvt-unicode port, v9.22, on MacOS
10.14.5 started with the command
        LC_CTYPE=en_US.UTF-8 urxvt -fn xft:Consolas:pixelsize=16
I prefer the first rendering quite strongly.  Is there a way (installing
a missing package, perhaps?) for me to get this rendering in xorg-server?

Interestingly, while testing out various combinations, I discovered that if
I tried to open the terminal while running xorg-server but with XQuartz.app
installed, I got the nicer rendering.  I'm about as sure as I can be that I
was in fact running the X server from xorg-server in this case, as the
value of $DISPLAY ended in "org.macports:0", and right-clicking on the dock
icon for the running X server and selecting Options > Show In Finder
pointed to an .app in /Applications/MacPorts.

Uninstalling XQuartz.app and restarting the X server produced the inferior
rendering again.

Any suggestions welcome!



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