SUMMARY: Compiling x3270

From: Joseph McPherson (
Date: Mon Jun 14 1993 - 10:21:32 CDT

Original Posting:

I have compiled x3270 v2.65b (x version of IBM 3270 terminal emulator)
successfully (I think) under SunOS v 4.1.2. However, when I execute the
program under OpenWindows 3.0 I receive the following message:

Warning: Cannot convert string "-misc-3270-medium-r-normal--14-140-75-75-c-90--1" to type FontStruct

I have tried a variety of items including the following:

1. Setting the FONTPATH variable to explicitly point to the location of
        the font files (I belive this is an OpenWindows variable).
2. Have used xset fp+ <font path name> to add the specified directory
        to the font path
3. Have used xset fp rehash to make the X server aware of the new font.
4. Have tried converting the font to an OpenWindows font using
        convertfont utility
5. Have used the bldfamily command to make the Families.list files
        (I don't think this is necessary but I was getting desperate)
6. Have used the mkfontdir command to build the fonts.dir file.
7. Have created and edited the fonts.alias file.

I think my problem actually centers around item 6. The mkfontdir command actually will not produce the fonts.dir file as it is supposed to. I have no idea why this is. I have tried manually creating the fonts.dir file but I continue to receive the same message.

Any insights would be greatly appreciated.

Have you checked that /usr/lib/X11/fonts/misc (for OW3) is in your FONTPATH?
Also, have you checked your XAPPLRESDIR environment variable (for application
defaults), Have you run "/usr/etc/ldconfig /usr/lib /usr/local/openwin"?

here is what you need to for OpenWindows:
there is a 3270.bdf file in the distribution. copy it to
/usr/openwin/lib/fonts and run the command "convertfont," it should go like
this: (lagrange is my own machine)

lagrange% convertfont 3270.bdf

after that, use the command "bldfamily" to rebuild the font database and
it should say something like this:

lagrange% bldfamily
* -misc-3270-medium-r-normal--14-140-75-75-c-90--1 ./misc3270mediumrnrml141407575c901.ff (Encoding: unknown)

Then you can remove 3270.bdf. Do an "xset fp rehash" and try the
application again.

If you're doing this in another directory besides /usr/openwin/lib/fonts,
you need to do the same steps, but also, if that directory isn't in your
font search path ("xset q" will tell you this) you need to go

        xset fp+ (whatever directory you did the above in)

man convertfont
man bldfamily
Should put you on the right track. X servers use different font formats,
so you have to convert the fonts to the format your X server prefers.
'convertfont' will convert them to the format Sun's server can digest.
'bldfamily' will then build other neccesary files for Sun's server.

copy 3270.bdf into .../X11/lib/fonts/misc and then do mkfontdir


Response number 2 was most helpful. All of these steps were followed.
Yet the error persisted. After much hair-pulling it was discovered that
the volume containing the X3270 software was not mounted to the machine
running as the X server. Correcting this solved the problem.

Many thanks to:

Joe McPherson
The Department of Biostatistics
The Cleveland Clinic Foundation

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