Having worked with this quite a bit (it´s a pet obsession of mine), I strongly
recommend not going with any of the 8859 sets any more. UTF-8 is the way to go, and I suspect, given the aggressively multinational nature of the Ubuntu family, your kubuntu box is already defaulting to UTF-8. This is probably why you are seeing bad characters: Kubuntu is sending UTF-8 encoding, and you are reading ISO8859-1. For the remainder of this post, I am assuming you are switching your slackware box to UTF-8 and not the kubuntu box to iso8859-*
, both because I believe this is the RightThing(TM) for i18n and because I don´t know where kubuntu stores its encoding declarations. I should warn you, though, that to the best of my knowledge aterm is not yet Unicode-savvy. You will probably have to use a different terminal program, which I will come to later.
First, /etc/profile.d/lang.[c]sh should be updated:
lang.sh: export LANG=de_DE.UTF-8
lang.csh: setenv LANG de_DE.UTF-8
replacing de_DE with whatever is appropriate. en_US should work as a fallback, as it will still allow display and input of the full range of non-US characters.
If I understand your post correctly, your slackware box has an English keyboard installed. For that, I editted /etc/X11/xorg.conf to include:
Option "XkbLayout" "en_US.UTF-8"
although you might also try (this latter should work even if you decide to stick with iso8859-* encodings):
Option "XkbLayout" "us"
Option "XkbVariant" "alt-intl"
Option "XkbOptions" "compose:rwin"
Thanks to the xorg list, I recently found out that you will need to edit /etc/profile.d/gtk+2.[c]sh
and /etc/profile.d/qt.[c]sh as well:
This will give you access to the full range of compose sequences in /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/locale/en_US.UTF-8/Compose
If you´ve chosen to stay with iso8859-1 or -15, then replace en_US.UTF-8 with the ISO encoding in that filename. If it´s in that file, you can type it on the keyboard and that file will tell you how. (By the XkbOptions directive above, "Multi-key" in the Compose file is the right Windows key on the keyboard.)
You will need Unicode fonts. You can get classic X bitmap fonts at Markus Kuhn´s Unicode Fonts and Tools
page. Personally, I prefer to use TrueType/OpenType fonts. Search for FontPath in /etc/X11/xorg.conf and add the following line:
if it´s not already there, and dump truetype unicode fonts there. Personally, I like the Gentium
family. If you choose to do so (though it violates Microsoft´s license) you can add their core fonts for the web (Verdana, Georgia, Tahoma, Arial, etc.). Many, many more unicode fonts are available at http://www.slovo.info/unifonts.htm
. Don´t forget, as I did, to tell your terminal program to use the new fonts.
Speaking of the terminal program, aterm is not, to the best of my knowledge Unicode-compliant. You will have to switch: rxvt-unicode, mlterm, Terminal (from os-cillation.com), and gnome-terminal are all compliant, I believe.
You may want to go further with converting filenames and text data on native linux filesystems, or on network mounted filesystems. I have not found this necessary, but if you choose to do so see
Hope this is helpful, and good luck.