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I discovered that when I do ssh to a machine using OS X 10.6 and use mc I do not see the graphical line drawing characters.

This does not happen if I open terminal and start mc.

I'm connecting using putty configured to use xterm-color, configuraton that works just fine if I do ssh to a linux machine.

The mc from OS X is version 4.7.0 (installed using macports).

What locale returns:

  • LC_CTYPE="C" <== ssh
  • LC_CTYPE="UTF-8" <==

ssh: mc > display bits shows: 7-bit ASCII (changing does not help, it defaults to the same value) mc > display bits shows: UTF-8

The environment shows TERM=xterm-color in both cases and ss but mc looks different.

I filed a bug to mc with this information at

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On my OS X mc never shows the graphical line drawing characters. – Mike L. Sep 3 '10 at 12:20

The following option for mc did the trick for me.

./configure --with-screen=ncurses

I also had other options but I think those are irrelevant

--enable-extcharset --enable-charset --with-edit

I was accessing osx from Ubuntu. Here is locale output on osx:


And I got xterm-256color as my TERM.

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Good luck!

You might have luck changing fonts, linedrawing mode and translation settings on PuTTY.

Using Courier New or Lucida Console can give you linedrawing characters, using the Unicode linedrawing points option.

You might also want to try Windows' Terminal font.

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Just type

export LC_CTYPE="UTF-8"

while ssh-ing, then launch mc.

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