mkfontdir, fonts.dir, fonts.scale, fonts.alias - create an
index of X font files in a directory
For 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
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 BDF.
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 the font.
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
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" regular-alias
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 that font.
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 xset(1X)).
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(1X)).
X(1X), Xdec(1X), xfs(1X), xset(1X)
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