Block Chars in man pages after completing LFS

Agathoklis D. Hatzimanikas a.hatzim at
Mon Feb 23 02:23:54 PST 2009

On Mon, Feb 23, at 12:35 Ryan Isaacs wrote:
> > On Sun, Feb 22, 2009 at 05:33:27PM -0600, Ryan Isaacs wrote:
> >> After completing my lfs build, I'm seeing some block characters in
> >> some man pages.
> >>
> >> For example, for 'man udev', towards the bottom of the first page, I
> >> see a # sign between 2 block characters (squares). I presume these
> >> should be quotes.

This is an escaped single quote, which is translated into "acute accent"
'´', hexadecimal '00B4', decimal 180. 
You can generate it e.g., while in vim by using something like,

echo nr2char(str2nr('00B4', 16))

> >> I set LANG to en_US.iso88591 in step 7.9. I've since tried setting
> >> 'export LANG=' to both en_US and en_US.utf8 within a bash shell, but
> >> still see the block chars.

You have to fix first the environment, i.e., en_US.utf8 is not a
valid locale, but en_US.UTF-8 is.
The same LFS page you are referring below, I think it has all the 
information you need.

> I found that if I log in, and 'unset LANG', the man page for udev is
> displayed correctly, with single quotes instead of the block chars.
> That's probably not the correct solution, though, right?

That is because (probably) falls back to "C" locale which displays them as
single quotes.

> I'm not sure what "installing these locales" would mean? What section
> in the LFS book would that refer to? I did the complete book,
> unmodified.

Locales are installed either while you are building Glibc or anytime
by using the 'localedef' command. Refer back to the glibc page.

> I did go back and read the groff section (6.40), and I don't
> explicitly remember doing the sed command to tell Groff to use ASCII
> equivalents for single quotes and dashes, although I doubt I would
> have skipped it. Where would the change to font/devutf8/R.proto come
> out to in my completed system to I can confirm the step?
> Lastly, I derived my LANG setting of 'en_US.ISO-8859-1' from the steps
> in section 7.9.

As a side note. There is absolutely no need to use IS0-8859-1.
UTF-8 will use one byte for all the Ascii characters and up to 4 bytes
for cyrillic or greek characters, so space is not a valid reason.
As a plus by using UTF-8, you will have proper communication with the rest
of the world that is using characters other than the Ascii set.
Anyway, the ISO group no longer maintains those *absurd* ISO's encodings.


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