Unicode Console?

Kevin Monceaux Kevin at RawFedDogs.net
Thu Feb 21 01:48:53 UTC 2008

Fellow FreeBSD Fans,

I've been running FreeBSD on a web/mail server, which I only have remote 
access to, for a while now.  At home I've been running Linux since the 
1.xx kernel days but am considering switching my desktop box to FreeBSD.

I never given much thought to my locale setting until recently.  I'm about 
to start participating in an online Spanish study group, via e-mail, and 
might also be following along with an Old English study group.  I'm an old 
fashioned kinda user and prefer to do as much as I can via the text 
console.  I compose/read e-mail via Alpine.  After some trial and error I 
finally convinced my Linux box, currently running Arch Linux, to handle 
all of the "special" characters I need via the console.  In the end, it 
amounted to:

1.  Add "en_US.UTF-8 UTF-8" to /etc/locale.gen

2.  run locale-gen

3.  set LANG to en_US.UTF-8

4.  Switch to a font that contains the symbols I need.  I'm currently
     using one of the Terminus console fonts.  For some reason I had to
     switch to a framebuffer console otherwise after executing
     unicode_start the font was way too dim.

5.  run unicode_start(added to my .cshrc file)

After the above I'm able to display various accented characters such as á, 
é, ì, ö, û, ç, etc. along with the Spanish ñ, inverted punctuation marks ¡, 
¿, Old English thorn(þ), eth(ð), ash(æ), etc.  Also, from reading mail 
from various mailing lists I've noticed that it also handles the Cyrillic 
alphabet and part of the Greek alphabet.

From what I've seen of FreeBSD I'd expect it to have console capabilities 
that are superior to those of Linux.  But, I haven't managed to figure out 
how to achieve similar functionality via the FreeBSD text consoles.  I'm 
currently testing FreeBSD(7.0-RC2) under VMware.  Can anyone point me in 
the right direction?

Bruceville, TX

Si hoc legere scis nimium eruditionis habes.
Longum iter est per praecepta, breve et efficax per exempla!!!

More information about the freebsd-questions mailing list