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Old 07-24-2006, 02:03 PM   #1
pusrob
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Registered: Jan 2006
Distribution: Debian
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Question my mc looks very strange if not using X


Hi.

I have a problem with my mc (midnight commander). When I login without using X, and start mc, it looks very strange. I can read and see the file names, but the other stuff is not good. It shows stupid caracters instead of lines, menus, etc. nothing is good except the file names and the blue background. Whats the problem? I'm using Debian testing/unstable, and if running mc from konsole (KDE) everything is just fine. Please help. Thank you.
 
Old 07-25-2006, 11:08 AM   #2
jonr
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It's probably a problem with either your locale settings or the console character set. I had the same thing happening and looked up everything I could find in the manual about both, understood very little of it, and experimented till I got a combination that more or less works. I believe the MC documentation mentions that you won't get "pretty" boxes etc. with some character sets, but ones with the lines "drawn" by odd characters. That was happening too.

I wish I could tell you the exact steps to fix it, but I didn't keep notes. You can be 99% sure it's a character-set and/or locale problem, though.
 
Old 07-26-2006, 02:38 AM   #3
pusrob
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Smile Ok

Hi.

I will read the manual, and if I can fix it, I will make notes and send them to you. Thanks for the advice.
 
Old 07-26-2006, 12:01 PM   #4
jonr
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To me, a non-expert in the inner workings of Linux, it's almost as though the powers that be (if they exist) don't want you to know anything about how non-graphic stuff works, which makes it hard to fix something when it goes wrong. I did find that a useful place to experiment is in the file /etc/console-tools/config, where I ended up putting these lines:

Code:
# Turn on numlock by default
#LEDS=+num
###NOTE: Changing all below from "lat2-16 to lat1-16" trying to fix wrong chars. on consoles --jrr 6-25-06
### Changing to lat0-16 on 6-26 in hopes of further improvement--jrr
### Changing to lat9u-16 'cause I saw that's what Damn Small Linux uses, and tried it and got better results
SCREEN_FONT=lat9u-16
APP_CHARSET_MAP=iso_8859_15
SCREEN_FONT_vc2=lat9u-16
SCREEN_FONT_vc3=lat9u-16
SCREEN_FONT_vc4=lat9u-16
SCREEN_FONT_vc5=lat9u-16
SCREEN_FONT_vc6=lat9u-16
The last one is the one that worked best for me, and restored the proper boxes and other "graphic" characters to the MC display in consoles. However, it probably isn't the best one for a Hungarian user.

The config file referred to is unusually well written and tells what to avoid as well as what you can do.

One problem with all this, to judge from scores of posts and other material I read through Google searches, is that the Unicode standard is not understood by lots of software. So characters don't get reproduced right. In an ideal world, everybody could just use a Unicode character set and see his/her native alphabet's characters correctly everywhere, but the world isn't ideal yet.

The locale issue is one I simply don't understand after reading probably hundreds of pages about it. I just found that for me the best compromise setting is "LC_ALL=C" with my own language setting set to "en_US" which is not surprising since I live in the US. Even then, programs complain that "en_US" is not understood by the "operating system," which is plainly false, since it works.

I certainly understand why people stay with Windows.

EDIT: I left all the useless lines in in order to see what I had tried with not-so-good results. They are just a small part of what I experimented with, though.

And by the way, thanks for helping me reach 1,000 posts today! I must celebrate, probably by buying an MP3 player that won't work with Linux without weeks of fiddling ...

Last edited by jonr; 07-26-2006 at 12:04 PM.
 
  


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