[i3]system fonts broken, cant launch urxvt after wonkystate+restart

Hi, so I've used i3wm edition for about 3 years now without self-inflicted incident, but this one is a weird one.

After about 12 hours of sitting idle, I came back to my workstation, unlocked it only to find it in some really weird state. I couldn't execute any commands in the open urxvt (well ctrl+L worked) and Firefox wouldn't load pages or do anything. So I rebooted, and now while most programs are launching, the fonts are broken everywhere except certain sections of some web pages that likely use webfonts (e.g. twitch chat), electron apps like discord and tty.

Instead I get the weird unicode placeholder box with the four little unreadable symbols.

I can't launch urxvt (or dmenu) using shortcuts in this new state and if I try to launch urxvt from tty (lol) I get the following error: "Unable to load base fontset, please specify a valid one using - fn, aborting." I'm guessing that's indicative of the larger problem, but I don't know what or how to fix it.


It did not happen by itself.
I think Manjaro i3 uses ttf-nerd-fonts-terminus for urxvt

OK: new discovery: the output of fc-list is empty, but /usr/share/fonts/ is full of directories that are full of fonts.

Alright, so I reinstalled the xorg-font-util package, fc-list gave me output, restarted xorg and it all works again!

Thanks for all the help, folks. :upside_down_face:

Now, how did it get damaged? I'd still like to hear from someone knowledgeable, but oh-well.

1 Like


We are going to drop the transitional package "xorg-font-utils" together with the ToDo list to remove unneeded fontconfig and xorg-mkfontscale dependencies from font packages. Please remove "xorg-font-utils" from all PKGBUILDs and replace with the packages that were covered by its dependencies where needed:
xorg-bdftopcf / xorg-mkfontdir / xorg-mkfontscale / xorg-font-util

I'm guessing this is related somehow, but IDK why it would have broke on my system. Maybe I updated an AUR package and it's dependencies were updated to the new spec, but manjaro hasn't yet? Anyone have thoughts?

This topic was automatically closed 90 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

Forum kindly sponsored by