gitk is crashing!

Friday, September 23, 2022

I enjoy using gitk to visualize the commit history of my Git repositories. In fact, this blog is version controlled using Git because, that’s a thing.

To my surprise today, When I ran gitk after committing my previous article today, it’s crashing on start up! 😰

$ gitk || echo "yep, got an error code: $?"
X Error of failed request:  BadLength (poly request too large or internal Xlib length error)
  Major opcode of failed request:  139 (RENDER)
  Minor opcode of failed request:  20 (RenderAddGlyphs)
  Serial number of failed request:  4255
  Current serial number in output stream:  4257
yep, got an error code: 1

Uh oh.

A quick search for the error message yielded a few links, one from the Unix & Linux Stack Exchange with someone having the exact same issue as I am. Seems like the issue is that an emoji (likely the floppy disk icon: 💾) is causing a rendering issue in gitk. This answer suggests to add the unifont font to get around this.

And that resolved the issue 😀

$ gitk && echo "yep, things are ok now: $?"
yep, things are ok now: 0

Thank you Stack Exchange contributors, as usual 😉