After upgrading to Emacs 27.1, my default font changed to adobe courier. I would like to use Anonymous Pro or Inconsolata, but attempts to change it using M-x customize-face RET default fail. I am at a loss to describe the behavior as it seems to me irregular and I am not sure where to begin. Setting it to Anonymous Pro or Inconsolata, which so far as I can tell are in fact installed on my system and go by those names, causes the font to fall back to a serif font that looks like times. I am using the KDE Font Management utility to see what fonts are installed. Running xfontsel to look at which fonts are installed gives a different list, but entering information from it produces indeterminate effects---the font does change, but I can't tell if it's falling back to courier or a default serif font. So far as I can tell, it usually does make the right change, which I can test for instance if I use etl for the foundry and fixed for the family. The emacs font matches what that font looks like in the xfontsel menu.

So---as should be clear---not sure where to begin troubleshooting.

I'm using Emacs 27.1, on OpenSuse Leap 15.2, KDE.

  • 1
    Emacs 27 switched the font backend to Harfbuzz, so it's possible this is a bug. You might be able to set a frame parameter like (add-to-list 'default-frame-alist '(font-backend . xft)) to go back to non-Harfbuzz font rendering.
    – amitp
    Aug 19, 2020 at 15:58

1 Answer 1


I found a "solution"---the problem has been fixed, although I don't know why. Maybe this will help someone else experiencing this kind of instability.

Tinkering, I used S-down mouse-1 as instructed at the EmacsWiki Set Fonts page. Emacs crashed when I selected Anonymous Pro. I deleted the desktop on general principle. After I restarted emacs, I could select Anonymous Pro using S-down mouse-1 to change the face in a buffer. Then I could set it persisently as the default face using customize.

  • I've also had had 27 break fonts (e.g. all emoji visible through C-x 8 RET Can you clarify what you mean by "deleted the desktop"? Aug 19, 2020 at 18:03
  • "Deleted the desktop" is probably too strong. I turned desktop-save-mode off (M-x desktop-save-mode); it's on by default in my setup.
    – Adam
    Aug 20, 2020 at 14:30

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