ArchLabs Linux

Jwm programs' menu bar and menus don't use same font as openbox?

Hi all,
This is a bit hard to explain, but here goes…
I’ve been using AL Openbox as my go to distro for months now and can hardly imagine anything that suits me better. But… i recently installed jwm alongside. I’ve set up the right-click menu to suit my taste, as well as the taskbar. I’ve even added themes (thanks Antix!).

But a big problem remains. The font of the menu bar and drop down menus of individual programs ie. Firefox, gnumeric, gthumb, etc. is UGLY. To me it looks monospaced, much like the login window of AL. I like the default font for these in Openbox alot- i think it’s DejaVu Sans 11? I have no idea why JWM defaults to ugly font rather than the same as Openbox, and have found no way to change it. Someone on Linux Questions suggested the window manager is in charge of such things? That would be LightDM, yes? Any ideas on how to change this much appreciated!

The fonts for jwm are defined in the users ~/.jwmrc.

There is an example on the jwm site with all the options. The .jwmrc is also used to define keybingings and autostart programs.

Remove or edit ~/.config/fontconfig/fonts.conf to use the font you want, it aliases sans, serif, and monospace. These would be the defaults, openbox is set to use the sans alias, which points to DejaVu Sans, most other programs use the monospace alias.

eg. ~/.config/gtk-3.0/settings/ini uses the monospace alias https://bitbucket.org/archlabslinux/skel/src/35bf1a828d1a9a2b954d2d5894f7ced78c99bc3b/base/.config/gtk-3.0/settings.ini#lines-4

Edit ~/.config/gtk-3.0/settings.ini and ~/gtkrc-2.0, set the gtk-font-name= to the same in each or use something like lxappearance (it edits them for you).

2 Likes

A belated thank you Nate! I think i now have a better understanding where these seemingly magical font choices arise.

For sure, it just makes it easier to change the font across the whole system without me having to edit configs for a ton of wm/de. I can change the fontconfig and everything follows.

I think the issue is that one or both of the Mono choices in fontconfig are tied to the terminal font AND the font that appears in the menus of individual programs. The default somehow renders both nicely in openbox, but in jwm the terminal looks fine, but the menus of programs look awful with that mono font. If i remove Mono from those choices, menu programs look nice (like in Openbox), but my terminal is hardly readable. I will have a look at the gtk files you mention, but it seems both DEs are using the same files so i don’t get why they react differently.

This should only be the case if they use one of the aliases, setting them manually to something different would let you see if that’s the case. I think firefox uses gtk for everything it can so just changing the gtk font should do? or the firefox settings?

How are you starting ob/jwm?