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How do you guys use Linux when you have lots of files with non-Latin alphabets, or even Chinese/Japanese? I don't have a problem with Windows, because I do everything in the GUI (it's hard not to), and the alternate language input is just a short install away.

However in Linux, I interact with it mostly through the framebuffer console/ssh, mostly because that's what I use it for, and I don't really trust X to work when I need it. And in those environments, typing in Chinese/Japanese to cd to that directory seems impossible - I have to use a GUI file manager in X to get in there and start doing whatever I need to do on the files. Or is it? Is there a solution to this?

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2 Answers 2

I can easily type UTF-8 characters over ssh in a Putty window. However, I usually use ASCII file names and only use the UTF-8 characters in the content of the files. It saves me from various problems (been bitten e.g. by unicode normalization: you can have 2 files with visually same names because one name contains a + accent as one character while the other contains them as two characters).

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Most shells these days support autocompletion of filenames, and I've been able to use that to get rid of almost any accidentally created file with a weird name*.

In Bash you can avoid typing complicated filenames directly by escaping them:

find . -print0 | while read -r -d ''; do printf %q "$REPLY"; done

* Try the following command for a challenge:

touch -- $'--$`\\! *@ \a\b\E\f\r\t\v\"\' \n'
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