[tex-live] fc-cache documentation ?

Ken Moffat zarniwhoop at ntlworld.com
Sat Aug 27 19:32:22 CEST 2016

On Sat, Aug 27, 2016 at 09:13:45AM +0100, Philip Taylor wrote:
> I discovered, after considerable trial and error, that running :
>     fc-cache -v C:/Windows/Fonts
> before attempting any XeTeX compilation caused a multi-second improvement in performance (without the preliminary fc-cache command, loading the first font took upwards of 10 seconds, even with an SSD as C:).  But TeXdoc fc-cache tells me it does not have anything relevant.

I am shocked that it takes so long.  On linux (or at least the
version I use), we recommend running fc-cache after installing or
deleting fonts.

Somebody once suggested that it is good to put each set of fonts in
its own subdirectory, to speed up cache access - but even on the box
where I have several hundred fonts (I was comparing those which are
current, and installed all of Noto - with over 400 fonts in one
subdirectory) it is usually quick.  Specifically, it only updates
caches in directories where things have changed.

> Where is fc-cache documented, please, and how is the "normal" user to learn (a) of its existence, and (b) of its potential importance.

For a 'nix user, man fc-cache.  I assume you don't have manpages, so
the reply suggesting that you use google was appropriate for finding
the docs.  I am told that google gives different results to different
people, based on their search history, but for me there were at
least two links to the documentation in my first few results.

For 'a', I don't know. For 'b' - my understanding is that the caches
are rebuilt as-necessary if fontconfig detects that something has
changed.  From that, rebuilding the caches is normally a one-off
process - so if the first run of xelatex caused the cache to be
rebuilt (I'm assuming all your fonts are in a flat directory, not
subdirectories) then the second run should not need to repeat that.

If you continue to see the problem (and have not changed the
installed fonts in the meantime), I suspect that something else is
the problem.

`I shall take my mountains', said Lu-Tze. `The climate will be good
for them.'     -- Small Gods

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