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I installed the ttf-dejavu package and can use the fonts in gnome-terminal. However, I want to use them in rxvt, but they do not show up with xlsfonts and rxvt reports "can't load font" when I try to use "DejaVu Sans Mono" in .Xdefaults. I found this confirmed bug (#574409), but there is no workaround.

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xlsfonts doesn't list any of the fonts I use in urxvt (Monaco and Mensch), yet they're available to me. It seems to be kind of a crap-shoot. Can we see your .Xdefaults? – withoutasound Dec 2 '10 at 6:34
I was using rxvt. After switching to urxvt everything worked just fine. – Judge Maygarden Dec 2 '10 at 15:11

This is a workaround more than a literal solution to the question. I switch to urxvt (i.e. rxvt-unicode) and the following .Xdefaults lines work just fine. A similar configuration for regular rxvt could not locate the same font.

URxvt.font: xft:DejaVu Sans Mono:antialias=true:pixelsize=14
URxvt.boldFont: xft:DejaVu Sans Mono:style=bold:antialias=true:pixelsize=14
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