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I am using various old/legacy tools, such as ctwm and ical, which appear to prefer the fonts -- specifically, the font names -- returned by xlsfonts, instead of fc-list. That is, if I specify a font name output by xlsfonts, like


then ctwm and ical will use it. On the other hand, if I specify a font name output by fc-list, like


then those programs will ignore the specification and use a default font.

Unfortunately, the xlsfonts fonts are rather limited. For example, there is no "helvetica" font.

Note that I am working with a basic install of 12.04 (Precise Pangolin), with a number of application packages subsequently installed through apt-get. As far as I know, I am only using the font packages that come with that basic installation. Previously, I used 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) and had access to many more fonts (including Helvetica).

So, my questions are:

  1. Can I use the fc-list fonts with these older packages? If so, how?
  2. If I'm limited to just the xlsfonts fonts, then are there additional packages that I should install?
  3. Am I missing something fundamental about these fonts and how they work? If so, what?



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