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A.3. xfsft

xfsft is a TrueType solution from Juliusz Chroboczek. xfsft is based on the FreeType font library as developed by Mark Leisher and others. It is essentially is a patch for XFree86's xfs and related libraries -- xfs + ft. Red Hat's xfs is essentially xfsft with a few minor modifications. Also, XFree86 4.x includes the freetype font module which is also the result of Juliusz's work, and is one of the TrueType solutions available for XFree86 4.x.

Building xfsft requires having at least some of the XFree86 source available, in addition to xfsft itself, so this is not for the faint of heart. Instructions for building and configuring xfsft are in the tarball, so I won't go into details here. They are pretty straight forward. There are links to binaries available at the xfsft home page (see above).

Note that you must also create fonts.scale and fonts.dir files for xfsft. fonts.scale can be created manually (ugh!), or with the ttmkfdir utility. This is not included with xfsft but you can get it here:, or probably on many Linux archives sites too. Red Hat has this as part of the Freetype RPM. And for Debian it is called mkttfdir and is in the fttools package.

You will also need a configuration file. Here is a sample:


clone-self = off
use-syslog = off

client-limit = 20

catalogue = /usr/local/share/font/ttfonts

error-file = /home/jec/fonts/xfs.errors

# in decipoints
default-point-size = 120

# x,y
default-resolutions = 100,100,75,75



You can then run start xfsft:

# xfs -port 7100 -config /path/to/your/config/file &

You can then add xfsft to the X server's FontPath:

$ xset +fp tcp/localhost:7100

If all goes well, you could then add this FontPath to XF86Config.