The following happens with any GUI application after I ssh to a VPS with -X (from Apple's Terminal with XQuartz):

[x@y]$ emacs ~/.bashrc

(emacs:1110): Pango-WARNING **: failed to choose a font, expect ugly output. engine-type='PangoRenderFc', script='latin'

True to it's threat, the output is very ugly indeed...not in the text of the file I'm editing, but for all strings in the application layer. (Installing new applications that use a GUI installer, e.g., was impossible because I couldn't read the dialog boxes.)

[Apparently I can't post images yet; I will later when I have some street cred.]

What am I missing and how can I get past this?

Thank you!

  • The fonts you want to use need to be installed on to your client (OSX).
    – Zoredache
    Mar 13, 2014 at 17:03

1 Answer 1


Found help here finally:

yum install liberation-sans-fonts

Now emacs is working properly, it appears.

  • To clarify, the font needed to be added on the VPS...
    – HaPsantran
    Mar 15, 2014 at 13:08

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