[tex-live] Fontconfig for XeTeX versus regular fontconfig

Dr. Werner Fink werner at suse.de
Wed Oct 26 09:27:43 CEST 2011

On Tue, Oct 25, 2011 at 10:42:29PM +0000, Karl Berry wrote:
>     >   ** ERROR ** Invalid glyph index (gid 2447)
>     > and also reports of a slowdown of e.g. programs like Inkscape.
> So, don't install the TL fonts as system fonts.

The fonts exists only below /usr/share/texmf/fonts/ and
the system fonts below /usr/share/font ... there is no
TL font within the later path.

The problem occurs due XeTeX which seems to depend on
an on fontconfig to be able to handle its fonts below
the TL path, compare with


... now this does not work well

> Or fix fontconfig or Inkscape, if that's the problem ("slowdown"?).

A simply fc-cache may fix this ...

> Or fix the broken fonts, if that's the problem.

Hmm ... for I have to fork my self due to find the time for ;)

>     > Is there a solution or a simple way to disentangle the usage
>     > of fontconfig for both the non-XeTeX and the XeTeX users on
>     > the *same* system.
> That cure seems worse than the disease to me.  XeTeX must look up system
> fonts in the system way, not some fake way.
>     Is there any way that kpathsea does *not* ignore FONTCONFIG_FILE,

I've tried to export


by using e.g.

   export FONTCONFIG_PATH=$(kpsewhich -var-value=FONTCONFIG_PATH)

and this seems to works flawless with xelatex.

> Kpathsea itself knows nothing at all about fontconfig per se.
> It just has those variable definitions, like any other variable
> definition.  They are only used on Windows.  Quoting from texmf.cnf for
> the record:
> % Default settings for fontconfig library, used by Windows versions of
> % xetex/xdvipdfmx.  On Unixish systems, fontconfig ignores this.
> FONTCONFIG_FILE=fonts.conf

Hmmm ... I've several bug reports about fontconfig and XeTeX using
the TL fonts ... one part of reports (the non XeTeX users) are
shouting about the incompatible TL fonts now found due to the
mentioned fontconfig setup at


and other bug report of XeTeX users which insist on exactly this
fontconfig setup.


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