Description of Internet Explorer for UNIX Font Cache Management

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This article describes the font cache management used by Internet Explorer for UNIX on a Sun Solaris-based computer.


Definition of a Font Cache File

A font cache file stores a summary of the characteristics for fonts that are located on the UNIX server you are using. This summary is used to determine which fonts are used when you connect to a Web page.

The contents of a font cache file depend on the version of UNIX the server is using and the font path on the server. Each font cache file is named "mwfc-<nnnn>" where <nnnn> is a four-digit hexadecimal number created using the server identification and font path.

Several default font cache files are installed and stored in the <install>/common/fontcache folder, where <install> is your Internet Explorer folder. An example of a default font cache file name located in this folder is Mwfc-6de1. This file contains information for a Sun server with a font path that is established by starting the Common Desktop Environment (CDE) on a computer that has Solaris 2.5.1 installed.

Font Cache File Creation

When you start Internet Explorer on a UNIX-based computer that does not contain a compatible font cache file, Internet Explorer reads all of the font data from the server and creates a new font cache file. The new font cache file may not be stored in the same folder as the default font cache files. During startup, Internet Explorer looks for the font cache files in the <install>/common/fontcache, ~/.microsoft, and /tmp folders before it creates a new one.

When you install Internet Explorer, the <install>/common/fontcache folder is created with full access, but you may be prevented from removing or updating font cache files. The operating system may not allow writing into the installation directory. If this is the case, Internet Explorer may write font cache files to your ~/.microsoft or /tmp folders.

Distribute Font Cache Files Manually

To manually administer a font cache file on multiple computers, use the following steps:
  1. Start Internet Explorer on one computer to create a font cache file.
  2. Locate the new font cache file in the <install>/common/fontcache, ~/.microsoft, or /tmp folder.
  3. Copy the new font cache file to the other computers that do not have this file.

Distribute Font Cache Files Using IEAK

Administrators who use the Microsoft Internet Explorer Administration Kit (IEAK) can create font cache files, as described above, and include them with the distribution package that is generated by the IEAK. As a result, the font cache files are already in place when a new installation of Internet Explorer is installed on a computer. Copy the font cache files to the computer before you run the IEAK wizard. During the creation of the IEAK distribution package, the font cache files are taken from the folder name typed in the Font Directory box on the UNIX Programs tab.


Article ID: 182328 - Last Review: October 7, 2013 - Revision: 3.2
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 for UNIX
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