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I have a very old X11 application (over 10 years) that runs in a chrooted environment on my OpenSuse desktop. It used to look fine and over the years I have updated the Linux distribution several times, always no problem.

Now after moving from OpenSuse 12.1 to 13.1, this old application only sees about 10 fonts and starts to look crappy. It sees Times, Helvetica, Courier, Bookman and a few more.

Are there different kinds of fonts that applications get to use ? Maybe the old app only supports one kind and maybe it was dropped / reduced on the latest Suse ?

What is the best way to to make sure this old application has some good fonts again ?

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There are two different ways of finding and drawing fonts in X applications, as described in more detail in the X.Org Fonts documentation, and the system needs different metadata files for each.

Older applications, which don't support anti-aliased text, likely use the legacy core X11 fonts system, which looks for fonts via the X font path (displayed with xset q, set with xset fp) and the metadata files created by mkfontscale and mkfontdir in each directory in that path. xlsfonts should list all the fonts available in that system.

Newer applications, which do support anti-aliased text, likely use fontconfig to locate fonts, in the directories listed in the fonts.conf files (such as those in /etc/fonts/conf.d), using metadata files created by fc-cache. fc-list should list all the fonts available via fontconfig.

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