Internationalisation question

Declan Moriarty declan.moriarty at
Fri Dec 31 02:49:57 PST 2004

On Thu, 30 Dec 2004 22:01:21 +0500, Alexander E. Patrakov
<patrakov at> wrote:
> > I may shortly need a pc with several different character sets, and
> > locales. A full plethora of them.
> > Has anyone done this? Is it easy?

> A reasonably simple way of achieving this is as follows.
> 1) Forget about Linux console (i.e. rm /etc/sysconfig/console). Given that
> the user has a shell, he or she can run the needed "loadkeys" and "setfont"
> commands, and export LANG manually (or do that from his/her
> ~/.bash_profile). Of course that will be inconvenient for German people the
> first time, because they have to type the "y" letter in the word
> "loadkeys", and it is not in the same position as painted. But they surely
> know that and can type it once.

Thanks for such a detailed response Alexander.
I'm sure I can manage that much. Any Germans using this box will be
> 2) Install GDM, not KDM, as a display manager. The reason is that GDM allows
> you to select the language (in fact the LANG variable), and does it almost
> correctly. Don't forget to read the second comment on this bug:

That is the sort of thing which will save me a huge amount of time.
Again thanks. I can probably go straight to runlevel 5 in any case.
> 3) Forget about apps that don't use Xft (i.e., all Xaw, Motif and gtk1
> apps). They need individual configuration.

My minimum requirements are editor, browser, and printing, with e-mail
a preferred one.
So I think I can forget about Xaw, Motif, and GTK1. Lucky me.
> 4) If you install KDE, be aware that the default keyboard layout switching
> applet is far from ideal (e.g. hotkeys for switching the layouts don't
> work). kkbswitch is better, but it, unlike the stock applet, requires
> properly configured keyboard layouts in xorg.conf (something that you
> probably can't afford).

I don't follow this too well. Can't I  arrange as follows:
Xorg.conf is set up as a symbolic link to  ~/Xorg.conf
That way each user gets his own Xorg.conf in his own dir which allows
individual butchering of keyboard  setups. Is this all done with a
standard keyboard or are the different international keyboards
(Chinese, Arabic, etc)required?
> 5) Install Microsoft fonts and FreeFont. Test the installation by running
> gucharmap.
> 6) Install either Amarok or (better) Beep-Media-Player. They are the only
> MP3 players that can adapt for different encodings in ID3 tags.

So they can even listen to their favourite brand of music? They'll be lucky

     All the Best


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