Problems with fonts have probably been responsible for more GIMP 2 bug
reports than any other single cause, although they have become much less
frequent in the most recent releases in the 2.0 series. In most cases
they have been caused by malformed font files giving trouble to
Fontconfig. If you experience crashes at start-up when GIMP scans your
font directories, the best solution is to upgrade to a version of
Fontconfig newer than 2.2.0. As a quick workaround you can start gimp
command-line option, but then you will not be able to use the text tool.
Another known problem is that Pango 1.2 cannot load fonts that don't
provide an Unicode character mapping. (Pango is the text layout library
used by GIMP.) A lot of symbol fonts fall into this category. On some
systems, using such a font can cause GIMP to crash. Updating to Pango
1.4 will fix this problem and makes symbol fonts available in GIMP.
A frequent source of confusion occurs on Windows systems, when GIMP
encounters a malformed font file and generates an error message: this
causes a console window to pop up so that you can see the message.
Do not close that console window. It is harmless, and closing it will
shut down GIMP.
When this happens, it often seems to users that GIMP has crashed. It
hasn't: closing the console window causes Windows to shut GIMP down.
Unfortunately, this annoying situation is caused by an interaction
between Windows and the libraries that GIMP links to: it cannot be fixed
within GIMP. All you need to do, though, if this happens, is minimize
the console window and ignore it.