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Locally, using gnome-terminal, I can use my Swedish characters ("åäö" and their capitalized siblings "ÅÄÖ") without any problems. It also works inside the irssi IRC client, as well as from a bash session launched from hte terminal.
However, when I connect via ssh strange things happen. In the terminal, Swedish characters appear to register only when an additional key is pressed. For example, when I press "å", it's only shown after I press an additional character. If I launch irssi, two or three strange characters are shown in sequence instead of my Swedish characters. The prompt in irssi behaves very strangely as a result of this.
I've tried connecting both with SecureCRT and Putty (Windows based SSH clients) with the same result. I've also manipulated the keymap and terminal settings.
However, if I launch ssh locally from Red Hat and connect to my own machine, it all works nicely. I don't know where to place the blame -- whether it's a keymap or terminal issue in the ssh clients, or some setting somewhere I'm supposed to fiddle with.
I did not have this problem in FreeBSD. It is frustrating I would really appreciate any hints so that I can keep using my old box remotely again!
I do not have much experience with recent Redhat versions, but it sounds like it might be some weirdness with the LC_CTYPE or locale or something similar. If you type echo $LC_CTYPE $LANG, what do you get?
My LC_CTYPE was not set. My LANG was set to "en_US.UTF-8". I had been trying different combinations of settings without success until finally the other day I set LANG to sv_SE in order to get ISO-8859-1 (Latin-1) system-wide. This solved all my problems, except one: Alt-Gr 2 won't produce the @ sign. All other keys work normally, including other characters produced by Alt-Gr. I guess the Swedish keymap is broken. Any ideas what I can do?
You can add any assigments to your keys with xmodmap (man xmodmap).
I have a file named $HOME/.Xmodmap with my own default nonstandard assigns using the windows MENU key as a modifier (I have a US keyboard, I speak spanish) which is automatically loaded by xmodmap on login, but I am not sure if this is true also for Mandrake.
By the way, when some 'international' characters are displayed as an stange sequence of characters, that means that an application is not aware of utf-8, which is a new method for encoding all characters for all languages using 7-bit ASCII characters. For example, a file named "niñas17.tif" saved under redhat 8 seems to become "niÃ±as17.tif" if I list it under under mandrake 6. That causes me a lot of trouble too.