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How to use foreign-distro fonts without symlink hack?

From: Jorge P. de Morais Neto
Subject: How to use foreign-distro fonts without symlink hack?
Date: Sun, 05 Jan 2020 13:50:50 -0300

Hi.  I use an updated Guix atop Debian buster on an x86-64 notebook.  I
had font problems in GNU Emacs.  I took hours to recognize them as such
and find the cause: Emacs was not using the fonts from Debian in
`/usr/share/fonts'.  I then worked around the problem by symlinking
/usr/share/fonts to `~/.local/share/fonts' and invoking `fc-cache'
(don't remember the exact parameters I used).  Then additional fonts
appeared in the output of `fc-list' and were indeed available to Emacs.
Two questions:

1. Could this symlink cause problems for Debian applications?
2. Why does not Guix `fc-cache' look in `/usr/share/fonts'?

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