# UTF-8 and FreeBSD

## Tags: freebsd

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Unicode is really nice: Less meddling with codepages, less display problems etc. Here are some notes explaining how to enable this functionality for FreeBSD.

On my system, two steps were required. Step one involved changing .login_conf (in my home directory). I added the following lines:

me:\
:charset=UTF-8:\
:lang=de_DE.UTF-8:


After logging off and on again, locale settings should work properly. Step two involved changing .gvimrc in my home directory because the fonts listed there had the wrong charset. Instead of ISO8859-15 I used ISO10646-1. This convinced vim to work properly, too.

Filenames:

For those of you who do have files with filenames in the “old encoding” the tool convmv might prove invaluable. FreeBSD users get it from /usr/ports/converters/convmv and might want to take a look at the man page.

Conclusion:

There is only one drawback: Unfortunately, if you are trying to use the console (without X running), things might get ugly. Apart from that problem (which can be fixed by temporarily resetting the input locale), all things “just work”. My, my. Isn’t that something?