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I recently switched from OpenSuSE to Arch Linux. Files with unicode characters in the name used to display fine, but after the switchover I just get mojibake. For example, in my music library Queensrÿche appears as Queensrÿche.

This occurs on the console as well.

I piled on to a relevant thread in the Arch Linux forums, but haven't gotten an answer.

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

It's possible that your locale is configured improperly; the most likely reason is that, even though the file names are stored in UTF-8, your terminal (I'm guessing Konsole) still expects a legacy ISO-8859-* encoding.

I don't know the rest, but here are a few steps to ensure the basic configuration is correct.

This script may also help.

  1. Edit /etc/locale.gen, ensure that your preferred .UTF-8 locale (e.g. en_US.UTF-8) is uncommented.

    (By default, Arch does not enable any locales.)

  2. Run locale-gen to generate the locales, if they haven't been generated yet.

    (Currently generated locales are listed by locale -a.)

  3. Edit /etc/locale.conf and add LANG=en_US.UTF-8.

    (The LOCALE= variable in /etc/rc.conf does the same thing, but is, in a way, deprecated in favor of locale.conf.)

  4. Log out completely, then log in again, in order to refresh the environment variables.

  5. Run env | egrep '^(LANG|LC_)' | sort to see what locale settings are in your shell's environment.

    Run tr \\0 \\n < /proc/$PPID/environ | egrep '^(LANG|LC_)' | sort to see the terminal's environment.

    Both commands should return identical output. If not, they both must at least have ".UTF-8" in LANG values. (".UTF-8" and ".utf8" can be considered identical.) Also, neither command should list LC_ALL.

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Seems to have done the trick...konsole and dolphin both display the proper characters now! Thanks! – Nathan Mar 3 '12 at 0:32
Works well for me too. Thanks :) – sorush-r Aug 6 '12 at 12:02
Github link broken. New link. – tjameson Apr 6 '13 at 21:33
+1 for this, thanks -- adding LANG to .bash_profile (not .bashrc) did the trick here for getting vim-airline utf-8 symbols displaying in gnome-terminal – virtualeyes Jun 21 '14 at 16:05

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