Trouble displaying text in emacs


I am running fvwm 2.5.9. When I start emacs so that it pops a window on the virtual desktop, like this:

% emacs &

All I see inside the emacs text buffer is some funny squares in place of text. If I type something - only squares appear. Emacs menus are displayed fine, with letters on them, but displaying text inside the emacs buffer is the only problem.

When I start emacs within an xterm window on the virtual desk, like this:

% emacs

the test is displayed just fine.

Any idea what’s going on?


Sounds like your environment isn’t getting loaded via menu-execution, and when you start xterm, your environment gets loaded. I’m not sure about this, but you could try in the menu definition to use “Exec exec”.

Actually, the problem was in that the emacs could not find the right fonts. It was spitting out the error:

Warning: Cannot convert string "--courier-medium-r----120-----i
so8859-" to type FontStruct
Warning: Cannot convert string "-
" to type FontStruct

When I start emacs like this:

emacs -font fixed

this solves the problem.

You don’t have any settings pertaining Emacs in your ~/.Xsettings do you? As I had such settings appear and got pretty similar errors to you (they might have been the same, but I can’t remember the situation that well…)