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Starred by 63 users

Issue metadata

Status: Verified
Last visit > 30 days ago
Closed: Jul 2010
EstimatedDays: ----
NextAction: ----
OS: Mac
Pri: 2
Type: Bug

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Issue 29729: Chrome sandbox blocks loading of fonts stored outside stock system locations

Reported by, Dec 8 2009

Issue description

Chrome Version       :
URLs (if applicable) : Any URL using a non-system standard font installed 
via FontExplorer X Pro - for example (Century 
Gothic in the headlines).
OS version               : 10.6.2
Behavior in Safari 3.x/4.x (if applicable): OK
Behavior in Firefox 3.x (if applicable): OK
Behavior in Chrome for Windows: n/a

What steps will reproduce the problem?
1. View a site using a non-system font (installed locally via FontExplorer X 
Pro) set as its primary typeface.
2. Have that font installed and working on your system.

What is the expected result?
Chrome displays the font correctly, and if it is not installed locally and/or is 
not functioning properly, falls back to a backup font (see font-family code 
example below).

What happens instead?
Chrome fails to render the font correctly (displaying a "broken font" 
symbol [letter A in a square]), and fails to use a fallback font.  For instance, 
font-family: "Century Gothic", Helvetica, Verdana, sans-serif; displays 
broken font as opposed to displaying in Helvetica.

Also: Tested this out with a few other fonts... occurs with any non-system 
font installed via FontExplorer X Pro v. 2.0.3.  FontExplorer is passing fonts 
along fine to all other browsers/programs, so it doesn't appear to be the 
Screen shot 2009-12-08 at 2.24.07 PM.png
346 KB View Download

Comment 1 by, Dec 15 2009

I can verify this happens on my system; I also run FontExplorer X Pro 2.0.3 on Mac OS
X 10.6.2. See attached screenshot of the Google homepage rendered in Google Chrome

All of my fonts are activated/deactivated through FontExplorer X Pro; I'm not sure
how the type mechanism works in OSX, but it's possible Chrome is using fonts directly
from their directory as theorized here:

The below might be uesful:

$ ls /System/Library/Fonts/
Apple Braille Outline 6 Dot.ttf		HelveLTMM				Times LT MM
Apple Braille Outline 8 Dot.ttf		Helvetica LT MM				Times.dfont
Apple Braille Pinpoint 6 Dot.ttf	Helvetica.dfont				TimesLTMM
Apple Braille Pinpoint 8 Dot.ttf	HelveticaNeue.ttc			儷黑 Pro.ttf
Apple Braille.ttf			Keyboard.ttf				华文细黑.ttf
Apple Symbols.ttf			LastResort.ttf				华文黑体.ttf
AppleGothic.ttf				LucidaGrande.ttc			ヒラギノ明朝 ProN W3.otf
Courier.dfont				Menlo.ttc				ヒラギノ明朝 ProN W6.otf
Geeza Pro Bold.ttf			Monaco.dfont				ヒラギノ角ゴ ProN W3.otf
Geeza Pro.ttf				Thonburi.ttf				ヒラギノ角ゴ ProN W6.otf
Geneva.dfont				ThonburiBold.ttf
$ ls /Library/Fonts/
$ ls ~/Library/Fonts/
131 KB View Download

Comment 2 Deleted

Comment 3 by Deleted ...@, Jan 2 2010

This is a problem for me too. Using build (34444)

See for example.
Screen shot 2010-01-02 at 10.01.03 AM.jpg
207 KB View Download

Comment 4 by, Jan 4 2010

Status: Untriaged

Comment 5 by, Jan 4 2010

Labels: Mstone-6
Status: Available

Comment 6 by Deleted ...@, Jan 6 2010

same issue for me, how do i fix this? help.
Screen shot 2010-01-06 at 5.22.20 PM.png
256 KB View Download

Comment 7 by, Jan 8 2010

The fixed width fonts on (which many of us use daily!) also has this 
problem. I'm running the latest dev-channel nightly build. 

Screen shot 2010-01-08 at 10.11.27 AM.png
190 KB View Download

Comment 8 by Deleted ...@, Jan 8 2010

I am suffering from this issue as well. Mac OS X 10.62, FontExplorer X, about 1500
fonts active... total mess as seen by screenshot
Screen shot 2010-01-08 at 1.29.37 PM.pdf
155 KB Download

Comment 9 by, Jan 11 2010

A relevant log entry:

1/11/10 11:16:29 AM	sandboxd[49060]	Google Chrome He(49093) deny file-read-data 

This implies that the problem is not with FontExplorer X per se, but that Google Chrome has restricted children processes from 
reading files made accessible through the font activation system. Hence this problem will occur with any font-management 
program that keeps font files outside of the three font directories.

To get around this for now, you could disable the sandboxing feature with the `--no-sandbox' option.

I'm using this alias for the time being:

alias chrome='ps axo ucomm | grep -q "Google Chrome" || "/Applications/Google 
Chrome" --no-sandbox &>/dev/null &'

Comment 10 by, Jan 11 2010

That's correct. From the renderer sandbox (
revision=28541&view=markup ):

; Needed for Fonts.
(allow file-read-data (regex #"^/System/Library/Fonts"))  ; 10.5.6
;10.6_ONLY (allow file-read-data (regex #"^/Library/Fonts"))  ; 10.6
(allow mach-lookup (global-name ""))  ; 10.5.6
;10.6_ONLY (allow mach-lookup (global-name ""))  ; 10.6

Comment 11 by, Jan 23 2010

I've recently compiled chromium (svn) on my Mac; and was quite puzzled to see no fonts at all ... thankfully I found this bug report ;)
(Situation was worse for me as I had installed the MS 'Core fonts for the web' in non-standard locations) ...

Taking a look at the sandbox "configuration file" (located in " Framework.framework/Resources", Chrome users 
will surely find a similar location, I guess?) I would assume that adding the lines

(allow file-read-data (regex #"ttf$"))
(allow file-read-data (regex #"otf$"))

(below the "; Needed for Fonts." block) would allow the rendering processes to access all files ending in ttf / otf (TrueType/OpenType Fonts); without deactivating the sandbox 
security model alltogether.
Those lines fix the problem for me.
Maybe a developer could comment whether it's safe to do it that way?
I think; for a workaround, it would be better to keep the sandboxing system active and just allow access to all fonts. (As fonts are normally not extremely confidental data ;))

Comment 12 by, Jan 23 2010

Labels: HelpWanted
So it's clear from everyone's comments that the issue is that users with FontExplorer installed have 
fonts which are stored outside /System/Library/Fonts & /Library/Fonts which are the only directories 
that the Sandbox allows reading from.

We need to take a closer look at FontExplorer X's behavior and see which paths it allows storing fonts 
under and how we can integrate support for this into the Sandbox.

Christian: The sandbox rules you've added allow opening any file with a ttf or otf extension regardless 
of it's position on disk which is probably a bad idea.

I think we have all the information we need at the moment, I'd appreciate it if people refrained from 
adding "me too" comments to this bug since it only serves to spam the people who've starred the bug 
and are waiting to be updated on progress.

Comment 13 by, Jan 28 2010

I can confirm that this issue is not FontExplorer specific. I use FontAgent Pro to manage 
my fonts and am experiencing the same problems.  

From searching forums, etc. it appears pretty much everybody who uses a font 
management software (and some who don't) are experiencing this.
348 KB View Download

Comment 14 by, Feb 9 2010

 Issue 34999  has been merged into this issue.

Comment 15 by, Feb 9 2010

Labels: -Area-Misc Area-Internals
Summary: Conflict between font managers and Chrome

Comment 16 by, Feb 9 2010

Summary: Chrome sandbox blocks loading of fonts stored in nonstandard locations by font managers
(more descriptive summary)

Comment 17 by, Feb 12 2010

 Issue 33035  has been merged into this issue.

Comment 18 by Deleted ...@, Feb 25 2010

I can confirm that this happens with Suitcase Fusion as well.

Comment 19 by, Feb 25 2010

Confirmation here that the font application is completely independent of the problem. 
Any app that activates fonts outside the sandbox results in this error. I have tested it 
with 4 font managers so far.

Incidentally, the fix posted by Christian above only partially fixes the problem.  There 
are still small patches of the errors that pop up.

Comment 20 by, Feb 25 2010

Please see comment #12 - we know what the issue is, every time you comment here everyone who's starred the 
bug gets an email.  Please hold tight and we'll update the bug when we have a fix.

Comment 21 by, Mar 5 2010

That was happening to me with Microsoft core web fonts and standard OS X font manager (see duplicate issue 
33035). Deactivate fonts/stop font server/cleanup databases/start font server/enable fonts helps, but after next 
system reboot I have the same issue.

Comment 22 by, Mar 6 2010

 Issue 35896  has been merged into this issue.

Comment 23 by, Mar 9 2010

Labels: wasm6kg Mstone-X

Comment 24 by, Mar 11 2010

Status: Started

Comment 25 by, Mar 11 2010

Labels: -HelpWanted

Comment 26 by, Mar 16 2010

Status: Available

Comment 27 by, Mar 17 2010

Here is the help forum thread about this issue:

Comment 28 by, Mar 19 2010

Any plans to fix that?

Comment 29 by, Mar 20 2010

I do NOT have any font manager installed apart from Font Book, and I also have this issue.

The "broken font" symbol (letter A within a square) appears for fonts installed at ~/Library/Fonts/ whereas the correct font displays for fonts at 

On my machine Helvetica is installed at /System/Library/Fonts and Arial at ~/Library/Fonts/
For sites with font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; (for example the font displays correctly. 
For sites with font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; (for example I get the broken font. also shows the broken font on my machine as it is font-family: arial, sans-serif;

I am on Mac OS X 10.6.2 (10C540) Kernel Version: Darwin 10.2.0
Google Chrome for Mac (5.0.307.11)

I had this issue some time ago (I commented on  issue 11269 ). Some time after that post the issue disappeared and has now re-appeared.
I mostly use Safari on OS X due to this issue. On MS Windows (at work) I use Chrome almost exclusively.

Comment 30 by, Mar 20 2010

Exactly the same here. Every font installed in ~/Library/Fonts appears broken in Chrome.

Comment 31 by, Mar 21 2010

Please don't use the issue tracker as a discussion forum!
You are spamming all the people starred on this bug + developers every time you post a message here.

We are aware of this issue and have all the information we need to reproduce it. If we need any more we'll ask. 
Please be patient till we can get a fix out.

Comment 32 by, Apr 25 2010

Status: Started

Comment 33 by, Apr 25 2010

Stacktrace at which font loading is failing:

	4   libFontParser.dylib                 0x9161c181 TFileDataReference::TFileDataReference(char const*) + 77
	5   libFontParser.dylib                 0x9161bf6f TFileDataSurrogate::TFileDataSurrogate(char const*, bool) + 135
	6   libFontParser.dylib                 0x916686ee TFont::CreateFontEntitiesForFile(char const*, bool, TSimpleArray<TFont*>&, bool, short, char const*) + 3378
	7   libFontParser.dylib                 0x9161b5b8 FPFontCreateFontsWithPath + 232
	8   libCGXType.A.dylib                  0x915a5fdf create_private_data_with_path + 26
	9   CoreGraphics                        0x94f7ac6c CGFontCreateFontsWithPath + 43
	10  CoreGraphics                        0x94f7a867 CGFontCreateFontsWithURL + 452
	11  CoreText                            0x9930ada4 TCGFont::TCGFont(__CFURL const*, bool) + 60
	12  CoreText                            0x9930ab7b TCGFontCache::CopyFont(__CFURL const*) const + 103
	13  CoreText                            0x9930a9c2 TBaseFont::CopyNativeFont() const + 44
	14  CoreText                            0x9931c74c CTFontCopyGraphicsFont + 46
	15  Chromium Framework                  0x017e9850 WebCore::FontPlatformData::FontPlatformData(NSFont*, bool, bool) + 180
	16  Chromium Framework                  0x017e66f7 WebCore::FontCache::createFontPlatformData(WebCore::FontDescription const&, WebCore::AtomicString const&) + 519
	17  Chromium Framework                  0x0180322b WebCore::FontCache::getCachedFontPlatformData(WebCore::FontDescription const&, WebCore::AtomicString const&, bool) + 341
	18  Chromium Framework                  0x0180339b WebCore::FontCache::getCachedFontData(WebCore::FontDescription const&, WebCore::AtomicString const&, bool) + 45
	19  Chromium Framework                  0x018034db WebCore::FontCache::getFontData(WebCore::Font const&, int&, WebCore::FontSelector*) + 275
	20  Chromium Framework                  0x0180cdf3 WebCore::FontFallbackList::fontDataAt(WebCore::Font const*, unsigned int) const + 319
	21  Chromium Framework                  0x018020a0 WebCore::FontFallbackList::primaryFontData(WebCore::Font const*) const + 32
	22  Chromium Framework                  0x01802113 WebCore::FontFallbackList::primarySimpleFontData(WebCore::Font const*) + 113
	23  Chromium Framework                  0x01800c04 WebCore::Font::primaryFont() const + 122
	24  Chromium Framework                  0x019475a1 WebCore::Font::lineSpacing() const + 17
	25  Chromium Framework                  0x0198a8fe WebCore::RenderTextControlSingleLine::createInnerTextStyle(WebCore::RenderStyle const*) const + 376
	26  Chromium Framework                  0x0198818b WebCore::RenderTextControl::createSubtreeIfNeeded(WebCore::TextControlInnerElement*) + 225
	27  Chromium Framework                  0x0198aacb WebCore::RenderTextControlSingleLine::createSubtreeIfNeeded() + 71
	28  Chromium Framework                  0x0198ada7 WebCore::RenderTextControlSingleLine::updateFromElement() + 25
	29  Chromium Framework                  0x01607834 WebCore::HTMLFormControlElement::attach() + 146
	30  Chromium Framework                  0x0161fc1b WebCore::HTMLInputElement::attach() + 133
	31  Chromium Framework                  0x016402c1 WebCore::HTMLParser::insertNode(WebCore::Node*, bool) + 937
	32  Chromium Framework                  0x01645389 WebCore::HTMLParser::insertNodeAfterLimitBlockDepth(WebCore::Node*, bool) + 61
	33  Chromium Framework                  0x01642d0d WebCore::HTMLParser::parseToken(WebCore::Token*) + 1471
	34  Chromium Framework                  0x01655d8a WebCore::HTMLTokenizer::processToken() + 594
	35  Chromium Framework                  0x0165bf96 WebCore::HTMLTokenizer::parseTag(WebCore::SegmentedString&, WebCore::HTMLTokenizer::State) + 7036
	36  Chromium Framework                  0x0165cced WebCore::HTMLTokenizer::write(WebCore::SegmentedString const&, bool) + 1783
	37  Chromium Framework                  0x016e5d76 WebCore::DocumentWriter::addData(char const*, int, bool) + 1302
	38  Chromium Framework                  0x016f2a4f WebCore::FrameLoader::addData(char const*, int) + 309
	39  Chromium Framework                  0x01309915 WebKit::WebFrameImpl::commitDocumentData(char const*, unsigned long) + 209
	40  Chromium Framework                  0x012e3182 WebKit::FrameLoaderClientImpl::committedLoad(WebCore::DocumentLoader*, char const*, int) + 176
	41  Chromium Framework                  0x016ef3d0 WebCore::FrameLoader::committedLoad(WebCore::DocumentLoader*, char const*, int) + 84
	42  Chromium Framework                  0x016dc177 WebCore::DocumentLoader::commitLoad(char const*, int) + 87
	43  Chromium Framework                  0x016dc1d0 WebCore::DocumentLoader::receivedData(char const*, int) + 76
	44  Chromium Framework                  0x016f11eb WebCore::FrameLoader::receivedData(char const*, int) + 41
	45  Chromium Framework                  0x01708f80 WebCore::MainResourceLoader::addData(char const*, int, bool) + 80
	46  Chromium Framework                  0x01713ed3 WebCore::ResourceLoader::didReceiveData(char const*, int, long long, bool) + 83
	47  Chromium Framework                  0x01708730 WebCore::MainResourceLoader::didReceiveData(char const*, int, long long, bool) + 372
	48  Chromium Framework                  0x017132ec WebCore::ResourceLoader::didReceiveData(WebCore::ResourceHandle*, char const*, int, int) + 182
	49  Chromium Framework                  0x012ed3fe WebCore::ResourceHandleInternal::didReceiveData(WebKit::WebURLLoader*, char const*, int) + 210
	50  Chromium Framework                  0x012c3237 webkit_glue::WebURLLoaderImpl::Context::OnReceivedData(char const*, int) + 197
	51  Chromium Framework                  0x0004402a ResourceDispatcher::OnReceivedData(IPC::Message const&, int, base::FileDescriptor, int) + 632
	52  Chromium Framework                  0x00046fdb bool IPC::MessageWithTuple<Tuple3<int, base::FileDescriptor, int> >::Dispatch<ResourceDispatcher, int, base::FileDescriptor, int>(IPC::Message const*, ResourceDispatcher*, void (ResourceDispatcher::*)(IPC::Message const&, int, base::FileDescriptor, int)) 
+ 142
	53  Chromium Framework                  0x000430dc ResourceDispatcher::DispatchMessage(IPC::Message const&) + 374
	54  Chromium Framework                  0x0004456c ResourceDispatcher::OnMessageReceived(IPC::Message const&) + 878
	55  Chromium Framework                  0x000624f6 ChildThread::OnMessageReceived(IPC::Message const&) + 40
	56  Chromium Framework                  0x010e1828 IPC::ChannelProxy::Context::OnDispatchMessage(IPC::Message const&) + 144
	57  Chromium Framework                  0x010e28d6 void DispatchToMethod<IPC::ChannelProxy::Context, void (IPC::ChannelProxy::Context::*)(IPC::Message const&), IPC::Message>(IPC::ChannelProxy::Context*, void (IPC::ChannelProxy::Context::*)(IPC::Message const&), Tuple1<IPC::Message> const&) + 63
	58  Chromium Framework                  0x010e2911 RunnableMethod<IPC::ChannelProxy::Context, void (IPC::ChannelProxy::Context::*)(IPC::Message const&), Tuple1<IPC::Message> >::Run() + 57
	59  Chromium Framework                  0x0097ec4a MessageLoop::RunTask(Task*) + 220
	60  Chromium Framework                  0x0097f329 MessageLoop::DeferOrRunPendingTask(MessageLoop::PendingTask const&) + 53
	61  Chromium Framework                  0x0097f5b9 MessageLoop::DoWork() + 253

Comment 34 by, May 1 2010

Jeremy wrote, back in January:

"We need to take a closer look at FontExplorer X's behavior and see which paths it 
allows storing fonts under and how we can integrate support for this into the 

Since then, it has become apparent that all third-party font management applications 
which have this capability trigger the problem. I wanted to let y'all know that these 
apps do generally allow *arbitrary font file locations* (at least on the local 
system), so it seems to me that if you want to fix this, you too need to support 
arbitrary font file locations.

BTW, I am the product manager for Suitcase Fusion.

Comment 35 by, May 1 2010

Summary: Chrome sandbox blocks loading of fonts stored outside stock system locations
thomas: Thanks for chiming in.  As we've seen since this bug was filed, you don't necessarily even need a font 
manager to trigger this failure case.  I've updated the summary accordingly.

Comment 37 by, May 25 2010

Labels: -Mstone-X Mstone-6

Comment 38 by, Jun 1 2010

 Issue 45456  has been merged into this issue.

Comment 39 by, Jun 1 2010

 Issue 43399  has been merged into this issue.

Comment 40 by, Jun 7 2010

I need a volunteer whose seeing this consistently to help test a potential fix.
Please contact me by mail if you're experiencing this and would be willing to try out an experimental build.

Comment 41 by, Jun 7 2010

Got a volunteer, thanks all!

Comment 42 by, Jun 13 2010

is anyone know, when this issue will be fixed?

Comment 43 by, Jun 17 2010

The following revision refers to this bug: 

r50076 | | 2010-06-16 20:29:26 -0700 (Wed, 16 Jun 2010) | 10 lines
Changed paths:

Mac: More pluming for OOP font loading

* Add font_descriptor and corresponding pluming to send an NSFont over IPC.

* Rejigger font_loader to accept an NSFont as input and output an ATSFontContainerRef.  The reasoning behind this is that WebKit ultimately controls the font lifetime and we can only deactivate the font container once the font is no longer in use.

BUG= 29729 
Test=Unit tests should pass.

Review URL:

Comment 44 by, Jun 20 2010

The following revision refers to this bug: 

r50321 | | 2010-06-19 22:20:25 -0700 (Sat, 19 Jun 2010) | 8 lines
Changed paths:

Mac: Infrastructure for serialization of OS fonts over IPC.

Renderer & Browser bits to send and receive IPC message for OOP font loading.

BUG= 29729 
TEST=All unit tests should pass.

Review URL:

Comment 46 by, Jul 1 2010

Status: Fixed
This has landed in the tree and the bug should be fixed in the next dev channel release.

I've filed issue 48050 to track a related problem.

How to test:
* You need to be on 10.6.
* Copy Arial.ttf from /Library/Fonts to ~/Library/Fonts.
* Open the chrome bundle and edit Contents/Versions/<latest version>/Google Chrome Framework.framework/Resources/ in a text editor.
* Delete the line that contains USER_HOMEDIR/Library/Fonts
* Launch Chrome and navigate to

Expected result:
Google homepage should render correctly.

Result without this patch:
Google homepage will render in last resort font (boxes instead of characters).

Comment 47 by, Jul 12 2010

Status: Verified
Verified in 6.0.460.0 (Official Build 51834)

Comment 48 by, Jan 25 2011

I have a similar problem. For me, the default font is a bunch of rectangles.


OpenSuse 11.3
Google Chrome 8

The language is default English, no special fonts of any kind.
433 KB View Download

Comment 49 by, Jan 25 2011

This bug is about mac. If you see this on linux, pleas file a new issue. (you can mention your issue # here and I will triage it for you)

Comment 50 by, Jan 25 2011

Thank you. #70804

Comment 51 by, Feb 11 2011

related: #72727

Comment 52 by, Feb 11 2011

FYI, in the dev channel this isn't really fixed. It no longer shows the As in boxes, but it doesn't follow the CSS font chain. For example, on my system I have Helvetica Neue activated in Suitcase Fusion, but Chrome doesn't ever render Helvetica Neue, instead substituting Times New Roman, which is nowhere in the given site's CSS font declarations.

Comment 53 by, Feb 11 2011

@comment 52
Since this bug is closed, I opended a seperate bug about that here: #72727

Comment 54 Deleted

Comment 55 by, Apr 2 2012

The bug is not fixed at all (or its' a regression since the update 18.0.1025.142).

I use a goole web font called Signika / Signika negative in my websites, and i also have it installed in my Mac (via FontExplorer). Chrome displays a lot of glyphs instead of expected text.

When i deactivate my Signikas in FontExplorer, Chrome displays properly the font.

The problems occurs too on Google web Font page as the screenshot below shows (so it doesn't involve a problem on how i could use Google Web Fonts in my websites)
9.9 KB View Download
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Comment 56 by Deleted ...@, Apr 2 2012

@55 I have the same problem (mac, fontexplorer, google Webfont). But the font ist "Asap".

Comment 57 by, Apr 4 2012

Same problem, strange glyphs everywhere.

Comment 58 by, Apr 4 2012

It was fixed, but recently broke again in chrome 18. That's tracked in  issue 108645 .

Comment 59 by, Apr 4 2012

Labels: Restrict-AddIssueComment-Commit

Comment 60 by, Mar 10 2013

Project Member
Labels: -Area-Internals -Mstone-6 Cr-Internals M-6

Comment 61 by, Mar 13 2013

Project Member
Labels: -Restrict-AddIssueComment-Commit Restrict-AddIssueComment-EditIssue

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