locales, nls - supportable or not?

Alexander E. Patrakov patrakov at ums.usu.ru
Sat Nov 18 09:05:31 PST 2006

Dan Nicholson wrote:
> Where did I get this bogus information from? It was from _you_ back
> when you I was trying to test out the nautilus-cd-burner bugs and you
> told me I needed to at least get xterm with luit set up for proper
> UTF-8 support.

I did not explain my intentions well enough then. I meant: "It is 
possible to set up UTF-8 on console, and some (but not all) X terminal 
emulators support it too, but this would require a non-trivial step from 
my side to verify your setup remotely. Let me ignore the error-prone 
configurations and offer you a setup where you simply cannot make a 

As for the status of UTF-8 support on the console, here it is.

1) It is possible to load a screen font and display characters that the 
font contains (LatArCyrHeb-16 has rather good Unicode coverage for 
Europe if you don't need Greek). Characters in Linux console fonts 
cannot have double width, i.e., CJK hieroglyphs are not displayable.

2) In LFS-6.2, due to a kernel patch, it is possible to copy-and-paste 
Unicode text with GPM, as long as the screen font doesn't map two 
similar characters to the same glyph. In LFS SVN, copying and pasting 
Unicode with GPM produces garbage (and, thus, GPM is a mostly useless 

3) In LFS-6.2, due to a kernel patch that we apply on top of 
linux-2.6.16, keymaps that utilized dead keys and/or composing worked as 
long as they composed only ASCII characters with each other (the result 
may be anywhere in Unicode). In LFS SVN, this works partially (i.e., the 
result must be in Latin-1 subset of Unicode) because of the improvements 
upstream. In unpatched Linux-2.6.16, composing in UTF-8 mode always 
produced wrong results.

4) None of the restrictions in (2) and (3) apply in non-UTF-8 console mode

> And my experience was that most unicode characters
> wouldn't work on the console for me.

Didn't work for input or for output? Please paste your 
/etc/sysconfig/console and $LANG, and let me see if anything is wrong.

Alexander E. Patrakov

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