UTF-8 on 8.0-CURRENT: Yes We Can!

Ed Schouten ed at 80386.nl
Tue Jul 14 15:55:16 UTC 2009

Hi Franck,

* Franck Royer <royerfranck at free.fr> wrote:
> I wanna know where is the development of the support of utf-8 locale on
> the current branch. Can we use it or it still considering highly
> experimental ? Is there any specific port to install or a standard
> configuration is enough ?
> Or did I misunderstand that Freebsd will support native utf-8 ?

FreeBSD already supports UTF-8 when using X11, etc. The console driver
is restricted to 8-bit character sets. When you use FreeBSD
HEAD/8.0, you can add the following to your kernel config:

	options TEKEN_UTF8
	options TEKEN_XTERM

After that, be sure to replace `cons25' with `xterm' in /etc/ttys. This
will allow you to use UTF-8 on the console. The kernel will use a table
to remap all Unicode characters to CP437 (the default VGA font), so it's
practically useless.

I actually wanted to announce this in a couple of days from now, but I
guess there's no harm in mentioning it already. As of last week I'm
working on a new console driver in the newcons branch in our Perforce
repository. Because I'm using VGA graphics mode, it's fairly easy to
support Unicode.

It will probably still take a very long time before it's finished, but I
can already show you this screenshot I made the other day:


It's a screenshot of FreeBSD with my console driver, displaying
this file:


I hope you like it. ;-)

 Ed Schouten <ed at 80386.nl>
 WWW: http://80386.nl/
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