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

Chris Jones jonesc at hep.phy.cam.ac.uk
Tue May 28 08:00:50 UTC 2019

On 28/05/2019 8:55 am, Chris Jones wrote:
> Hi,
> On 28/05/2019 1:25 am, Richard Cobbe wrote:
>> 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 years, but I gather that XQuartz is no longer actively maintained, so I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?
> Honestly, I cannot see any difference between those two screen shots. 
> What exactly is it about the second you say is different and you prefer ?

correct ... "what about the FIRST...."

> As you note, the XQuartz.app version is quite a bit older than the
> xorg-server port in macports. We do though have a legacy port which 
> provides an older 1.18 version of the server.
> Titan ~/Projects/MacPorts/ports > port search xorg-server
> xorg-server @1.20.4 (x11, devel)
>      The X.org / Xquartz X server.
> xorg-server-1.18 @1.18.4 (x11, devel)
>      The X.org / Xquartz X server.
> Could you try that, to see if that reverts whatever the difference is 
> you see ?
> Chris
>> 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!
>> Thanks,
>> Richard

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