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mkfontdir, fonts.dir, fonts.scale, fonts.alias,
encodings.dir - create an index of X font files in a directory
[-r] [-p prefix] [-e encoding-directory-name] ... [--] [directory-name ... ]
each directory argument, mkfontdir reads all of the font files in the
directory searching for properties named "FONT", or (failing that) the
name of the file stripped of its suffix. These are converted to lower case
and used as font names, and, along with the name of the font file, are
written out to the file "fonts.dir" in the directory. The X server and font
server use "fonts.dir" to find font files.
The kinds of font files read by
mkfontdir depend on configuration parameters, but typically include PCF
(suffix ".pcf"), SNF (suffix ".snf") and BDF (suffix ".bdf"). If a font exists
in multiple formats, mkfontdir will first choose PCF, then SNF and finally
The first line of fonts.dir gives the number of fonts in the file. The
remaining lines list the fonts themselves, one per line, in two fields.
First is the name of the font file, followed by a space and the name of
Because scalable font files do not usually include
the X font name, the file "fonts.scale" can be used to name the scalable
fonts in the directory. The fonts listed in it are copied to fonts.dir by
mkfontdir. "fonts.scale" has the same format as the "fonts.dir" file.
The file "fonts.alias", which can be put in any directory of
the font-path, is used to map new names to existing fonts, and should be
edited by hand. The format is two white-space separated columns, the first
containing aliases and the second containing font-name patterns. Lines beginning
with "!" are comment lines and are ignored.
If neither the alias nor the
value specifies the size fields of the font name, this is a scalable alias.
A font name of any size that matches this alias will be mapped to the
same size of the font that the alias resolves to.
When a font alias is used,
the name it references is searched for in the normal manner, looking through
each font directory in turn. This means that the aliases need not mention
fonts in the same directory as the alias file.
To embed white space in either
name, simply enclose it in double-quote marks; to embed double-quote marks
(or any other character), precede them with back-slash:
"magic-alias with spaces" "\"font name\" with quotes"
If the string "FILE_NAMES_ALIASES" stands alone on a line, each file-name
in the directory (stripped of its suffix) will be used as an alias for
The option -e can be used to specify a directory
with encoding files. Every such directory is scanned for encoding files,
the list of which is then written to an "encodings.dir" file in every font
directory. The "encodings.dir" file is used by the server to find encoding
The "encodings.dir" file has the same format as "fonts.dir". It
maps encoding names (strings of the form CHARSET_REGISTRY-CHARSET_ENCODING
) to encoding file names.
The following options are supported:
- Specify a directory containing encoding files. The -e option may be specified
multiple times, and all the specified directories will be read. The order
of the entries is significant, as encodings found in earlier directories
override those in later ones; encoding files in the same directory are
discriminated by preferring compressed versions.
- Specify a prefix that
is prepended to the encoding file path names when they are written to the
"encodings.dir" file. The prefix is prepended as-is. If a `/' is required between
the prefix and the path names, it must be supplied explicitly as part of
- Keep non-absolute encoding directories in their relative form
when writing the "encodings.dir" file. The default is to convert relative
encoding directories to absolute directories by prepending the current
directory. The positioning of this options is significant, as this option
only applies to subsequent -e options.
- End options.
- List of
fonts in the directory and the files they are stored in. Created by mkfontdir.
Read by the X server and font server each time the font path is set (see
- List of scalable fonts in the directory. Contents are
copied to fonts.dir by mkfontdir.
- List of font name aliases. Read
by the X server and font server each time the font path is set (see xset(1)
- List of known encodings and the files they are stored in. Created
by mkfontdir. Read by the X server and font server each time a font with
an unknown charset is opened.
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