Thanks for the quick help.
Does /home/nathan/freeorion/default/DejaVuSans.ttf exist?
I never noticed the missing /application/ in that line but I copy-pasted that right from gdb so that's definitely where the program was looking. That directory did not exist when I looked today - the file was where it was supposed to be, in /home/nathan/freeorion/application/default/. I tried two potential fixes, but both had the same result - a new error.
First I did as Geoff suggested and ran freeorion -g, and then edited the resulting config.xml so that settings-dir to point to the correct location. That sort of worked. The program still seg faults but gdb reports a different error now (more on that below).
I then deleted config.xml and tried copying the ~/freeorion/application/default/ directory to ~/freeorion/default. This had the same effect as editing the config.xml.
how did you install? Just extracted the archive or did you use the installer
Originally I just extracted the archive. After I saw your question though I went back, untarred the archive to another location (so I was working with a fresh set of files) and ran the installer script. The installer reported no errors. I deleted ~/.freeorion and then tried to run the installed program, but I got the exact same new error.
As a side note, when I run gdb on the program now it says there are no debugging symbols. I thought they were there yesterday and I was certainly getting more output from gdb, about threads starting and whatnot. Now it just crashes straightaway.
Anyway, the new error:
When I run the program (the installed or the extracted version) I get the same output as before on the command line. Running gdb on the application directly reports:
/home/nathan/freeorion/application/freeorion: error while loading shared libraries: libCgGL.so: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory
though of course the path varies based on where I run it from. I checked and libCgGL.so exists and is in ~/freeorion/application/lib/ where it should be. I thought it might be another bad path issue like before, so I copied (leaving the original in place) ~./freeorion/application/lib/ to ~/freeorion/lib/, but that didn't help. The log files produced by this error are different than before so I've attached them again.
I searched forums for this library problem but although people have had bad library problems before, I couldn't find anything on this one.
The lack of debugging symbols might be producing bad output though