Xft text occasionally fails to render

pierre.andersson at se.atlascopco.com pierre.andersson at se.atlascopco.com
Fri Mar 7 02:24:17 PST 2014

Hi, I'm currently working on porting an application from win32 to linux and
I'm currently replacing the graphics rendering system at the lowest level.
For various reasons, we initially started using the X11 library alone for
this and got everything working; though the text rendering system provided
by X11 did not cut it for various reasons and thus we started using Xft for

The problem is that Xft seems to fail to render text for unknown reasons on
occasion. That is, it will render but not always actually show anything.
When it fails, it uses the same font and the same highly visible color as
when it does not fail. Drawing order is unchanged from the otherwise
working X11 implementation we did, as this is only a change at the very
lowest level of the graphics system. Through debbuging, we have verified
that the XftDrawString functions are called witrh the expected text, text
length, color, position and font.

So my question is, what are the conditions that could cause Xft text
rendering to silently fail? Are there any known issues in combining it with
the standard X11 drawing functions for non-text?

Pierre Andersson
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