[R] X11 font problem

Martyn Plummer plummer at iarc.fr
Mon Jul 3 11:15:24 CEST 2000


This is a problem with your X11 set up.  R 1.1.0 expects to load the
graphics font (Helvetica medium) in exactly the right size, but the
font server isn't delivering.

On Red Hat Linux, the Helvetica font comes with the XFree86-75dpi-fonts
package.  If you look in the configuration file for the font server,
(/etc/X11/fs/config) there should be two lines corresponding to 75dpi
in the catalogue list


If the latter line is missing, then the font server will not be
able to scale up the font to the right size. Don't add it by hand
though, there is a special command for manipulating the catalogue
called "chkfntpath". Run the following two commands - as root
when you are not running X

/usr/sbin/chkfontpath -q -r /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/75dpi
/usr/sbin/chkfontpath -q -a /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/75dpi

The demo will now work, but the title will appear ugly and blocky
(because it is a bitmap font).  Certain web sites that insist on
using helvetica will look pretty ugly too.


On 02-Jul-00 David Peebles wrote:
> Dear R users,
> I've just upgraded from R 0.64.1 to 1.1.0 on a PC running Red Hat Linux
> 6.0.  When I ran demo(graphics), after the command:
> title(main = "January Pie Sales", cex.main = 1.8, font.main = 1)
> the plot did not materialise and I received this error message: 
> Error in title(main = "January Pie Sales", cex.main = 1.8, font.main = 1)
>: X11 font at size 22 could not be loaded
> similarly, when I enter the following commands
>> testdata <- read.table("test.dat", header=T)
>> pairs(testdata)
> I get the following response:
> Hit <Return> to see next plot: 
> Error in text.default(x, y, txt, cex = cex, font = font) : 
>       X11 font at size 16 could not be loaded
> In addition: Warning message: 
> freeing previous text buffer in GStrWidth 
> These errors did not occur in my previous version of R.  Looking at the
> files ONEWS and NEWS that came with the 1.0.0 and 1.1.0 releases
> respectively, I notice that a great deal has changed with X11 font
> handling in R since version 0.64.1.  I confess that I am still rather
> inexperienced in the R system and so don't know whether these errors are
> because of R, my Linux setup or some combination of the two.
> Any comments and/or advice would be gratefully received.
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