Introduction to Fontconfig

The Fontconfig package is a library for configuring and customizing font access.

Package information



The numbering system of Fontconfig is unusual. The beta versions of the package are numbered with a 9x in the last portion of the release number. This means that 2.2.90 is a beta release and the most current release is of the form 2.2.1

Fontconfig dependencies



Installation of Fontconfig

Install Fontconfig by running the following commands:

./configure --prefix=/usr --sysconfdir=/etc &&
make &&
make install

Configuring Fontconfig

Config files


Configuration Information

The configuration file for Fontconfig is /etc/fonts/fonts.conf. Generally you do not want to edit this file. To put a new font directory in the configuration, update the /etc/fonts/local.conf file with your local information. The default location of fonts in Fontconfig is:

  • /usr/share/fonts

  • ~/.fonts

Because we have not built XFree86 yet, put the following directory entries into /etc/fonts/local.conf, inside the fontconfig tags:

sed -i -e '/^<\/fontconfig>/i\
<dir>/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/truetype</dir>' /etc/fonts/local.conf

The Fontconfig program will automatically search the above directories and all subdirectories for needed fonts.



X also includes an internal (and older) version of Fontconfig and unless it is explicitly disabled when building XFree86, the internal version is created leaving two slightly incompatible libraries on your system. It is recommended that you only install one version.


The Fontconfig package contains the libfontconfig library, fc-cache, and fc-list.



fc-cache is a command to create font information caches.


fc-list is a command to list fonts.