[R] "font problems in X11 with linux R"

Marc Schwartz mschwartz at medanalytics.com
Mon Mar 31 15:05:17 CEST 2003

>-----Original Message-----
>From: r-help-bounces at stat.math.ethz.ch 
>[mailto:r-help-bounces at stat.math.ethz.ch] On Behalf Of Fredrik
>Sent: Monday, March 31, 2003 1:46 AM
>To: R-help at stat.math.ethz.ch
>Subject: [R] "font problems in X11 with linux R"
>I'm inexperienced with linux, X11 and R. A font problem have 
>surfaced. When I 
>use pairs in John Fox's car library e.g.:
>> pairs(cbind(prestige, income, education, women))
>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 GText 
>Evidently there is some problem with my fonts or their loading in
>However, I can add text to a plot up to size 24 but not larger - 
>"Warning message:
>X11 used font size 24 when 30 was requested"
>In addition - when i use help.start() within R and choses 
> "Search Engine & Keywords" a window pops up with the 
>following text in the windowbar: "Netscape:subprocess 
>diagnostics(stdout/stderr)" and the 
>following message: "Warning: Cannot convert string 
>"-*-helvetica-*-*-*-*-*-*-12-*-*-*-iso8859-1"to type FontsStruct" but

>otherwise help.start with Netscape works OK.
>No other problems with fonts have surfaced - for example I can 
>use font size 
>16 in StarOffice 6.0 and Xemacs 21.4 without problems. I 
>realize that this is 
>more a Linux or X11 than a R question but actually I don't 
>know where to 
>I use SuSE linux 8.1, R 1.62, and Netscape 4.8.
>How do I fix this problem?
>Sincerely Fredrik Lundgren

It sounds like you might not have scaled versions of your fonts loaded
in /etc/X11/fs/config

Take a look in there for the following lines, depending upon whether
you have 75 or 100 dpi fonts loaded:


See if there are also the following lines:


If one of the second set of lines are not present to correspond with
one of the first two lines, it is likely that scaled versions of your
fonts are not being loaded by the font server.

You will need to add the appropriate line to /etc/X11/fs/config as
root when not running X and then restart X.

In RH (which I use), the console commands would be:

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


/usr/sbin/chkfontpath -q -r /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/100dpi
/usr/sbin/chkfontpath -q -a /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/100dpi 

I don't want to assume that SUSE has the same commands and/or paths,
but perhaps.  If not, you may just be able to edit /etc/X11/fs/config
directly, making sure that you verify the paths on your installation
as well.

Then restart X.

Perhaps another SUSE user here can verify the proper resolution.

Hope that helps.

Marc Schwartz

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