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Re: Font problems on X-Windows

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg14069] Re: Font problems on X-Windows
  • From: "P.J. Hinton" <paulh>
  • Date: Sat, 19 Sep 1998 03:42:04 -0400
  • Organization: "Wolfram Research, Inc."
  • References: <6tt4kq$>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

On 18 Sep 1998, R. Lopez-Aleman wrote:

> I am running Mathematica 3.0 remotely on an IBM UNIX terminal from an
> SGI workstation using X-Windows. I invoke the command <xhost +> on my
> terminal, and then telnet to the host and run the <setenv DISPLAY []>
> command so that the windows are displayed on my terminal. Then I run
> Mathematica 3.0  It runs fine, except that the fonts are weird.  While
> starting, it gives me an error that reads: "The Mathematica fonts are
> not properly installed in your system.  Without these fonts, typeset
> mathematical expressions cannot be displayed properly"
>     Has anyone encountered this before?  Some characters look fine,
> while others (Math operators and greek letters, for example) are
> garbled.  Do I need to install a Mathematica font set locally on the
> IBM station serving as an X-Windows terminal, and where do I get it? 
> Any insight into my problem would be much appreciated.

When you are displaying the X front end running on a remote host to a
local X server (your IBM machine), it is necessary for you to manually
add the Mathematica-specific fonts to the X server's path.  Under
various flavors of Unix, this is done with the shell command 

		xset fp+ <path to the fonts directory>

Note that this command must be executed on a shell on the local machine,
not the remote machine.

This is documented in the booklet _Getting Started with Mathematica 3.0
under Unix and X_.  You can retrieve this information with the Help
Browser by evaluating the notebook command:

   "Interfacing Capabilities (X)"]]

Scroll to the section titled, "Running the front end remotely".

You can determine the path to the fonts on your system by evaluating the
following command in a notebook:

    FrontEnd`FileName[{$TopDirectory, "SystemFiles", "Fonts"}]]];

In order for the xset command to work as described above, the
directories with the Mathematica fonts must be mounted by your local
machine.  If not, then you will need to make a copies of these
directories on the filesystem of your local machine, as described in:

  FrontEnd`HelpBrowserLookup["GettingStarted", "File Layout (X)"]]

under the section "Fonts".  Making local copies of the fonts for this
purpose is well within the Mathematica license agreement.  This is
noted in the booklet _The System Administrator's Guide to Mathematica
3.0_.  You should be aware the the fonts consume a sizeable amount of
disk space (approximately 11 MB for the BDF and PostScript Type 1 fonts
combined). If disk quotas for your account do not allow for this degree
of disk space, you may need to get assistance from your system
administrator in copying the fonts.  

P.J. Hinton
Mathematica Programming Group           paulh at Wolfram
Research, Inc.        
Disclaimer: Opinions expressed herein are those of the author alone.

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