How does Gnome affect non-Gnome fonts?

Peter B. Steiger wyo_wl001 at
Sat Jun 10 20:21:15 PDT 2006

Weird discovery tonight.  Several people wisely suggested I start
launching gnome-settings-daemon as part of my .xinitrc startup, and sure
enough that brought all my applications in line with regards to correct
icons and correct fonts.  I was just doing ctrl-right-click in XTerm to
pick a different font size from the VT Font Menu... and the font menu
itself is nearly unreadable.

I installed some decorative fonts from Windows into my TrueType font
folder, and alphabetically the first one is "1st Grader", a childlike
crayon scrawl... and suddenly the fonts on every X application that does
not specify its own fonts uses that scrawl by default.  I removed my
entire /usr/X11R7/share/X11/app-defaults folder to make sure nothing in
X itself was causing this, then I logged on with my test account (which
has an empty $HOME folder), and still the scrawl was there even with no
personalized .gnome, .gnome2, .gconf, or .gconfd folders present.  Only
when I removed gnome-settings-daemon from .xinitrc did the fonts revert
to something readable, so I know gnome itself is somehow causing this.

But where?  When I go into the font selection screen
(gnome-font-properties) there is nothing about non-Gnome application
fonts such as XTerm, and none of the font selections there refer to any
of my TrueType decorative fonts.  In any case, since the problem occurs
even when I wipe all .g* folders out of $HOME, it's clearly a default
coming from somewhere in the /usr/gnome2 tree.  Needless to say, I never
set up any configuration in the default folders there for the 1st-grader

I'm guessing that somewhere along the line it is falling back to the
first font it finds alphabetically, which would be 1st-grader.  Is there
a config program I can run within Gnome that would change the default
non-Gnome font to something more appropriate?

Peter B. Steiger
Cheyenne, WY

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