Can having thousands of fonts or using chrome cause display problems?

When I launch google-chrome-stable on F39 (Wayland), some of my icons disappear or become garbled and (sometimes) entire fonts disappear. E.g., I open a file in a text window, and the text disappears when chrome is launched.

This is mostly a minor annoyance, but I did note that fc-list shows >7000 fonts on my system – not terribly surprising, since I spent some decades as a typesetter, typographer, and book designer (using TeX).

But is there a limit beyond which weird things happen?


It turns out that I had some symlinks to font directories, so there were many, many duplicates picked up by fc-cache.

Worse, some of the symlinks pointed to my legacy pfb fonts, which I currently use only with dvips, so they should have been invisible to fc-cache.

Once I fixed those things, I ended up with a paltry 3k fonts: only ttf, otf, and a smattering of things like woff.

This also helped with the missing-icon problem, but I have no idea what the connection might be.