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When I run a piece of software remotely via ssh, I get a font error like the following:

xset: bad font path element (#0)

Why is this happening?

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The program relies on your local machine to load fonts. If they are not available, you will have problems. In this case, the program was trying to set a font path that didn't exist on my local host in the same form as on the remote machine. My solution was to make the path available on the local machine in the same form.

For example, the remote machine thought the font path should be /some/remote/directory (where /some/remote/directory is a link to /some/other/directory). The local machine could only see /some/other/directory which was also available on the remote machine so I reconfigured the program to look for them in /some/other/directory.

Note that lots of other solutions focus on loading fonts onto the local machine. That is the appropriate solution when the two machines don't have drives that are cross-mounted or some form of shared network-attached storage.

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