Using dmenu with xft fonts

I mentioned dmenu in the last post, and I should add that I find it quite useful. Going back all the way to gmrun, and perhaps even to those quirky little command line widgets for the Gnome desktop, or maybe even GnomeDo (if I understand it correctly), everybody loves typing a few letters and getting the program they want.

See? You secretly love the command line. Admit it. 😈

My only disappointment with dmenu was that it refused to show any xft fonts for me, as it was installed in both Crux and Arch. No matter what I did, or which system I was using, I kept getting the awful core X fonts in the dmenu bar.

Perhaps I was doing something wrong, but apparently there was no configuration file that handles dmenu’s behavior, and that all of its few options are triggered when it is spawned. I have no problem with that, except that I was awaiting the crucial information — is it possible to use xft fonts at all — before recompiling Musca to trigger dmenu, and hopefully make it work.

Arch came to my rescue again, this time in the form of an AUR package that pulls in a patch to allow dmenu to show those fonts. Colin Zheng’s conversion script did the work and within minutes, I could show dmenu with the Terminus font on my Pentium.

Again, I might have gone about this in completely the wrong way — I have a reputation for finding solutions that are far out of date, or worse, completely unnecessary. But in this case, a quick patch and a cross-compilation, and I don’t have to look at that awful X font any more. All in the name of science, of course. 😀

5 thoughts on “Using dmenu with xft fonts

  1. K.Mandla Post author

    That’s the one. I wondered that myself, but xinerama seems to be installed on both machines (the one I used to build it and the one I use it on) and so I didn’t think anything of it. I don’t know the rationale, but it’s calling for something that seems to come with Xorg by default.

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