[lug] RFA X4.01 fatal server: cannot find font 'fixed'

D. Stimits stimits at idcomm.com
Mon Feb 26 22:31:11 MST 2001

B O'Fallon wrote:
> I have X 4.01 under KRUD on my system, and it was running fine Friday.
> Today, when trying to "startx", it would not run, giving the error
>      Fatal server error: could not open default font 'fixed'
> Can anyone shed light on what is happening and how I can correct this?
> --
> B. O'Fallon
> bof at americanisp.net
> I'm desperately trying to figure out why Kamikaze pilots wore helmets.

Two things seem to happen here (at least to me). One is that permissions
get cut off on the font path, the other is that some sort of config tool
alters the prior FontPath setting while setting up something else
X11-related. For 4.0.x on RH, I think /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 holds the
font path in:
Section "Files"
   FontPath "unix/:7100"

The above setting is for the X font server to work with UDP on port 7100
(meaning port 7100 and loopback need to function without interference as
well). Explicit paths can be used too (must be used if the font server
isn't running). In the case of explicit paths, multiple paths will be
found there, but I'd bet on 4.0.x using the font server.

A third problem is that the indexing files get messed up (mkfontdir
fixes this if the font files are present and permissions are correct;
software installs can cause this by overwriting them). There is a
certain amount of compiling of font information to tell X11 about the
fonts in a given directory, so even if the fonts are there, failed
mkfontdir will mean the fonts are not visible. You might want to see if
a non-privileged user can cd to /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/, and to all
subdirectories of that (especially 75dpi), and that the non-privileged
user can read the font files.

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