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

Chris Jones jonesc at hep.phy.cam.ac.uk
Wed May 29 14:58:32 UTC 2019

On 29/05/2019 3:51 pm, Richard Cobbe wrote:
> On Wed, May 29, 2019 at 03:11:57AM -0500, Ryan Schmidt wrote:
>> On May 28, 2019, at 10:50, Richard Cobbe wrote:
>>>> It appears to me that the first (i.e. liked) font is Menlo 13 while the second (disliked) font is Andale Mono 13. I too like Menlo a lot and have been using it in my Terminal since Apple started shipping it with macOS.
>>> Actually, the first font is Consolas, although Menlo is quite nice too.
>>> The second one could easily be Andale Mono, as I do have it installed on
>>> the machine, but I'm not really sure.
>> You may have intended for the font to be Consolas, you may even have told X11 to use Consolas, but the lowercase "l" and "r" of Consolas do not look like the ones in either of the screenshots. As best I can tell, the font you like is Menlo, the one you don't like is Andale Mono. See attached comparison image.
> Huh -- good catch.  I certainly requested Consolas, but you're right,
> that's not what's in the screenshot.
> The odd thing is that, with XQuartz on my *old* MacBook, I *do* appear to
> be getting Consolas.  The only difference that I've been able to find after
> a quick investigation is that the font is installed in
> /Library/Fonts/Microsoft on the old machine, rather than ~/Library/Fonts or
> ~/Library/Fonts/Microsoft on the new one.  I may dig into this further when
> I have more time, although I really need to wipe the old machine and take
> it to FedEx tomorrow for the trade-in value, or the offer will expire.
> I gotta say, it would be so much more helpful if I could find diagnostics
> or log messages from the X server on this stuff.  Are those written
> anywhere that I can access? 

The X11 server logs are written to ~/Library/Logs/X11/


  As far as fontconfig goes, I know about
> FC_DEBUG (see the fonts-conf manpage for details), and that's better than
> nothing, but I wonder if there's another way to get additional info.
> (Also, the behavior of silently falling back on an approximation if the
> font can't be found is really not helpful -- I mean, sure, use an
> approximation so I can get a terminal open and continue to investigate, but
> maybe let me know that there's a problem?)
> Thanks,
> Richard

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