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If you are installing this release of FreeType on a system that
already uses release 2.0.5 (or even an older version), you have to
perform a few special steps to ensure that everything goes well.
1. Enable the TrueType bytecode hinter if you need it
See the instructions in the file "TRUETYPE" of this directory.
Note that FreeType supports TrueType fonts without the bytecode
interpreter through its auto-hinter, which now generates relatively
good results with most fonts.
2. Determine the correct installation path
By default, the configure script will install the library in
"/usr/local". However, many Unix distributions now install the
library in "/usr", since FreeType is becoming a critical system
If FreeType is already installed on your system, type
freetype-config --prefix
on the command line. This should return the installation path
(e.g., "/usr" or "/usr/local"). To avoid problems of parallel
FreeType versions, use this path for the --prefix option of the
configure script.
Otherwise, simply use "/usr" (or whatever you think is adequate for
your installation).
3. Ensure that you are using GNU Make
The FreeType build system _exclusively_ works with GNU Make (as an
exception you can use make++ which emulates GNU Make sufficiently;
see You will not be able to compile
the library with the instructions below using any other alternative
(including BSD Make).
Trying to compile the library with a different Make tool will print
a message like:
Sorry, GNU make is required to build FreeType2.
and the build process will be aborted. If this happens, install GNU
Make on your system, and use the GNUMAKE environment variable to
name it.
4. Build and install the library
The following should work on all Unix systems where the `make'
command invokes GNU Make:
./configure --prefix=<yourprefix>
make install (as root)
where "<yourprefix>" must be replaced by the prefix returned by the
"freetype-config" command.
When using a different command to invoke GNU Make, use the GNUMAKE
variable. For example, if `gmake' is the command to use on your
system, do something like:
GNUMAKE=gmake ./configure --prefix=<yourprefix>
gmake install (as root)
5. Take care of XFree86 version 4
Certain recent Linux distributions will install _several_ versions
of FreeType on your system. For example, on a fresh Mandrake 8.1
system, you can find the following files:
/usr/lib/ which links to
/usr/X11R6/lib/ which links to
Note that these files correspond to two distinct versions of the
library! It seems that this surprising issue is due to the install
scripts of recent XFree86 servers (from 4.1.0) which install their
own (dated) version of the library in "/usr/X11R6/lib".
In certain _rare_ cases you may experience minor problems if you
install this release of the library in "/usr" only, namely, that
certain applications will not benefit from the bug fixes and
rendering improvements you would expect.
There are two good ways to deal with this situation:
- Install the library _twice_, in "/usr" and in "/usr/X11R6" (you
have to do that each time you install a new FreeType release
- Change the link in /usr/X11R6/lib/ to point to
and get rid of
The FreeType Team is not responsible for this problem, so please
contact either the XFree86 development team or your Linux
distributor to help clear this issue in case the information given
here doesn't help.
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