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Re: Console screen fonts and non-US ASCII.

Hi Mats,

El 23 de desembre de 2011 14:18, Mats Erik Andersson
<mats.andersson@gisladisker.se> ha escrit:
> upstream FreeBSD is neglecting non-US characters for the console,
> which carries over also to GNU/kFreeBSD.

It isn't clear from your message wether you're referring to keyboard
map support or display charset.

In principle, supported charset for display is the subset of utf-8
that can be represented in VGA text codepages (cp437 in my case, not
sure about others).

Keymap selection is completely supported, even in the installer, when
using console-setup-udeb.  However, console-setup-udeb is only used in
GTK+ flavours, e.g.:


I'm told there's a plan to enable it for text installer as well (I
don't know more details about this).

> Well, to be exact it was
> possible to get scandinavian vowels in FreeBSD 6.4, but that
> was gone in 8.0, thus also for us.

I'm not sure what you mean.  If you refer to display output, could you
just type those characters in your mail reply?  Which codepage do
these characters belong to?

> My guess is that the same
> thing holds for German vowels, Catalonian, and Czech characters.

FWIW Catalan is fine, except for ŀ / Ŀ which unfortunately can't be
represented in cp437 (see #609681).

> In addition the Debian installer correctly asks for locale,
> but forgets to propagate that to the console keyboard setting,

It isn't supposed to.  Language setting depends on user's personal
preference.  Keyboard setting depends on what your actual hardware is
labeled with (which may or may not match your personal preference. in
my case it doesn't).

> so it is only manually that I got "swedish.iso", after tormenting
> myself with default US keyboard layout for a longer time.

Please check with latest GTK+ installer, it should help with your
Swedish keyboard (not sure if it's correctly propagated to installed
system though, let us know if it doesn't :-)).

> The interesting thing is, that after activation of "swedish.iso",
> then Vim when used in a virtual console will accept Swedish vowels as
> blank, invisible characters.

This suggest that input works but output doesn't.  When doing this
kind of tests it's better to split things, e.g. by putting the
characters you want in a file and using "cat file" from the console.

> Thus the keyboard map of GNU/kFreeBSD is complete, but the screen
> font table is severely incomplete. Must this be solved by us,
> or could we get upstream interested in the matter?

I'm not sure.  It depends a lot on whether those bytes can be printed
in VGA text mode.  What's your codepage?

I'm also unsure if there are better ways to handle this, e.g. software
rendering with arbitrary fonts.  Both Hurd console server and Linux do
it this way, am I right?

Robert Millan

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