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Font problems w SuSE 7.3

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg32031] Font problems w SuSE 7.3
  • From: Hans Ekkehard Plesser <hans.plesser at>
  • Date: Wed, 19 Dec 2001 04:29:14 -0500 (EST)
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at


After upgrading from SuSE 7.2 to 7.3 (using Mathematica, I
experienced problems similar to those reported by Harald von der
Osten-Woldenburg.  The machine running Mathematica is still on SuSE
7.2, an no X is running on that machine.  I only upgraded my office
machine.  Communications with the remote server is via ssh (OpenSSH

What happens is the following:

If I run XFree 3.3.6, I get a startup message just as described by

The front end could not locate a CharacterEncoding file 
for the requested encoding (ISO10646-1).

and Mathematica refuses to start.

When using XFree 4.1.0, Mathematica starts, and things seem well at
first, e.g. when simply entering f <ENTER>.  But if I then change the
Magnification, the character I entered dissappears for some
magnifications and I get a similar message as above

The front end could not locate a CharacterEncoding file 
for the requested encoding (big5.eten-0).

When loading more complex worksheets, Mathematica also complains about
many other non-existing encodings.  The error occurs independent of
whether I use the xfs font server or not.  Removing the Type1 fonts
from the font path does not help either.  I have run mkfontdir with
the -e option to create encodings.dir files both on client and server,
to no avail.  

When I created a symbolic link i mathematica/SystemFiles/CharacterEncodings/

     big5.eten-0.m -> CP950.m

the error message about the missing big5.eten-0 encoding dissapeared,
but the characters were still missing on the screen (no wonder, the
link was essentially randomly chosen).

Does anyone have an idea what is going on?  I am particularly confused
that similar errors occur under Xfree 3.3.6 and 4.1.0.  One other
change from SuSE 7.2 to 7.3 is that glibc moved from 2.2.2 to 2.2.4,
and there a note in the 2.2.4 NEWS that Unicode handling has been
re-done.  Could that have consequences for Mathematica?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Dr. Hans Ekkehard Plesser             Tel.  :           +47 6494 8832
Physics Section / ITF                 Fax   :           +47 6494 8810
Agricultural University of Norway     e-mail: hans.plesser at
N-1432 Ås, Norway		      WWW   :

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