Warning: Linux / X technobabble ahead!

So, I was sitting in front of my computer last night, wondering why some of the nicer screen fonts that now ship with XFree86 4.3.xx (the Microsoft core fonts, for the curious) only showed up in stuff that was linked against Freetype1. So, I’d get TrebuchetMS and Verdana in The Gimp but not in GAIM. This had always really irritated me, because those are some really nice screen fonts (give the Devil his due). I had never really looked into the problem though, and last night I finally decided to just start digging. I found the command fc-cache, which rebuilds the font cache, and ran it with the -fv parameters (which forces the program to scan directories with apparently valid caches, and displays status information) and guess what? The directory with the nice core fonts (/usr/lib/X11R6/fonts/truetype) wasn’t being scanned at all. Seems that Freetype2’s base configuration doesn’t specify that directory. Freetype2 stores its directory list in /etc/fonts/fonts.conf – but don’t be modifying that file – it can be overwritten by a subsequent install of a newer version of Freetype2. Instead, modify /etc/fonts/local.conf and add this line here:

<dir>/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/truetype</dir>

in between the <fontconfig> and </fontconfig> tags, and run ‘fc-cache -fv’. You might need to restart X (I didn’t, but your mileage may vary). From that point on, you ought to see those fonts show up in Freetype2-based software. Enjoy!