Information for Acquiring and Installing Fonts for z/OS Java

(last updated September, 2011)

There have been occasional questions about usage of customer provided fonts with the z/OS Java product. This addition to "tips" is being added to provide some guidance.

IBM SDK for z/OS Java Technology Edition customers interested in using fonts beyond the default fonts provided must acquire, install, and maintain the fonts, the installation location of the fonts, and the associated files within the SDK that control use of the fonts.

  1. Font acquisition and installation

    Customers may purchase one of the following products as a possible source of fonts for use with z/OS Java:
    Infoprint WorldType Fonts for AFP Clients or Infoprint World Type Fonts for AFP Servers as part of program 5648-E77

    - Function EA970000 0014 _ World Trade AFP Clients
    - Function 1A970000 0013 _ World Trade AFP Servers

    For z/OS Java usage, the Client is sufficient.

    To order, contact the Americas Call Centers, your local IBM representative, or your IBM Business Partner. Phone: 800-IBM-CALL (426-2255)

    To identify your local IBM representative or IBM Business Partner,
    call 800-IBM-4YOU (426-4968).

    DOC APAR PM05140 provides an example of installing fonts from these products into the IBM SDK for z/OS.

    The following steps are useful for all customers, whether they obtain fonts from the products above or from some other product or source.

  2. Font installation

    The default fonts provided by z/OS Java are within the java.home/lib/fonts directory. Although customers may choose to install custom fonts in this same directory, recognize that installing them within the fonts directory will require reinstallation whenever Java maintenance is applied.

    Because Java maintenance is a full product replacement, all customized files and extra files installed by the user within the Java directories will be destroyed during maintenance installation.

    Thus, any fonts installed within the Java directories will be destroyed, requiring them to be restored after each maintenance upgrade. Should custom fonts be installed outside of the java.home/lib/fonts directory, review in detail the information referenced by the links listed under item 3 to understand how to customize the fontconfig.properties.src to accommodate the custom font installation location.

  3. Custom fonts and properties files management

    If the fontconfig.properties.src file found within the java.home/lib directory has been modified to accommodate custom fonts, it is recommended that a copy of this file be maintained outside of the Java directories to minimize the steps needed to restore any customization made within the file. When maintenance upgrades are installed, the customized copy will be replaced with a default copy. Thus, the user would need to recreate the changes to the file. By maintaining a backup copy of their customized fontconfig.properties.src outside of the Java directories, the user can delete the default copy of the file and replace it with their customized version after a maintenance upgrade has been completed. Ensure the appropriate file permissions and attributes are maintained.

    The following table describes possible actions required, depending on where custom fonts are loaded:


font location fonts in /lib/fonts fonts in java directory, but not jre/lib/fonts fonts in a directory outside of the java directories     
Modifications in fontconfig.properties.src needed? No Yes* Yes*
fonts reloaded after Service installation? Yes Yes No
fontconfig.properties.src to be restored after Service? No Yes* Yes*

*Recommendation: keep a copy of your modified fontconfig.properties.src file outside of the z/OS Java directories. Restore the file after maintenance upgrades. The modified file can be used as a master copy for use in any comparable z/OS Java installation requiring the custom font definitions.

The following links provide information about the contents and format of the entries found within the fontconfig.properties.source file.

Font overview:
java.sun.com/javase/6/docs/technotes/guides/intl/font.html

Font configuration file:
java.sun.com/javase/6/docs/technotes/guides/intl/fontconfig.html


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