diff options
authorAlan Coopersmith <>2014-01-17 22:25:01 -0800
committerAlan Coopersmith <>2014-01-23 22:00:07 -0800
commitefcb136a03f642fba7e289e25d5dcf609bd13f07 (patch)
parent5d696738c2ab901bdef004169799bb63939fa7b5 (diff)
Add notes to README about various font formats & configure options
Signed-off-by: Alan Coopersmith <> Reviewed-by: Matthieu Herrb <> Reviewed-by: Eric Anholt <> Reviewed-by: Julien Cristau <>
1 files changed, 58 insertions, 0 deletions
diff --git a/README b/README
index 97a9e8a..931821b 100644
--- a/README
+++ b/README
@@ -5,6 +5,64 @@ X Font Server (xfs), and some font utilities (bdftopcf for instance),
but should not be used by normal X11 clients. X11 clients access fonts
via either the new API's in libXft, or the legacy API's in libX11.
+libXfont supports a number of compression and font formats, and the
+configure script takes various options to enable or disable them:
+ -- Compression types:
+ gzip - always enabled, no option to disable, requires libz
+ bzip2 - disabled by default, enable via --with-bzip2, requires libbz2
+ -- Font formats:
+ builtins - copies of the "fixed" & "cursor" fonts required by the
+ X protocol are built into the library so the X server always
+ has the fonts it requires to start up. Accessed via the
+ special 'built-ins' entry in the X server font path.
+ Enabled by default, disable via --disable-builtins.
+ freetype - handles scalable font formats including OpenType, FreeType,
+ and PostScript formats. Requires FreeType2 library.
+ Can also be used to handle bdf & bitmap pcf font formats.
+ Enabled by default, disable via --disable-freetype.
+ bdf bitmap fonts - text file format for distributing fonts, described
+ in specification. Normally
+ not used by the X server at runtime, as the fonts distributed
+ by X.Org in bdf format are compiled with bdftopcf when
+ installing/packaging them.
+ Enabled by default, disable via --disable-bdfformat.
+ pcf bitmap fonts - standard bitmap font format since X11R5 in 1991,
+ used for all bitmap fonts installed from X.Org packages.
+ Compiled format is architecture independent.
+ As noted above, usually produced by bdftopcf.
+ Enabled by default, disable via --disable-pcfformat.
+ snf bitmap fonts - standard bitmap font format prior to X11R5 in 1991,
+ remains only for backwards compatibility. Unlike pcf, snf files
+ are architecture specific, and contain less font information
+ than pcf files.
+ Enabled by default, disable via --disable-snfformat.
+ -- Font services:
+ xfs font servers - allows retreiving fonts as a client of an xfs server.
+ Enabled by default, disable via --disable-fc (font client).
+ If enabled, you can also use the standard libxtrans flags to
+ configure which transports can be used to connect to xfs:
+ --enable-unix-transport Enable UNIX domain socket transport
+ --enable-tcp-transport Enable TCP socket transport (IPv4)
+ --enable-ipv6 Enable IPv6 support for tcp-transport
+ --enable-local-transport Enable os-specific local transport
+ (Change --enable to --disable to force disabling support.)
+ The default setting is to enable all of the transports the
+ configure script can find OS support for.
Please submit bugs & patches to the Xorg bugzilla: