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On a fresh Ubuntu 12.04 xemacs looks like this

enter image description here

where as emacs looks like this

enter image description here

Xemacs also produces the following warnings:

Warning: Cannot convert string "-*-helvetica-bold-r-*-*-*-120-*-*-*-*-iso8859-*" to type FontStruct
Warning: Missing charsets in String to FontSet conversion

How can I fix this ?

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I had a similar problem with fonts in xemacs under opensuse 12.1. It disappeared after I added a different font description (different iso) in my xemacs starting files: (set-face-font 'default "-b&h-lucidatypewriter-medium---*-14-140---*-*-iso10646-1")

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I would say the easiest solution would be to just use emacs23 command to run emacs (installed using the standard emacs23 package). They are the same program underneath after all. Actually they are different but they are so similar they might as well be the same thing.

As to why xemacs looks so different, it is because it is built using the lucid graphics toolkit which does not use gtk themes or freedesktop icon themes.

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Emacs and XEmacs are definitely not the same program. – choroba Sep 11 '12 at 14:47
They are essentially the same. You can probably trade between them with little to no trouble. The only major difference between emacs23-gtk (i.e. emacs) and xemacs is the tools they use to create their windows. emacs23-gtk uses gtk and xemacs does not (apparently using the lucid tool kit). – Alex L. Sep 11 '12 at 15:41
Ok thanks for the info about the underlying graphics toolkit. Personnaly, I fell that Xemacs looks like in the seventies ;-) More over I steel have a font problem as reported in the question. Any idea on how to fix it ? – Manuel Selva Sep 12 '12 at 6:30

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