Default character encoding.

Shizzle Cash shizzlecash at
Thu Jul 10 15:38:47 UTC 2008

On Jul 10, 2008, at 5:45 AM, erikd at wrote:

> Hello members of the list.
> I've been using ubuntu for a day or so, and I have a problem I can't  
> seem
> to get rid of.
> My default character encoding is set to UTF-8, which I don't really  
> want.
> In most apps, such as firefox, it is easy to specify, but for the  
> terminal
> itself that seems to be impossible. Every time I start a new  
> terminal, it
> uses the system locale which is UTF-8. I can change it manually to
> ISO-8859-1, but that's no fun.
> I've googled for a while and found a number of solutions, none really
> working for me. I've tried
>    sudo locale-gen sv_SE.ISO-8859-1
>    sudo dpkg-reconfigure locales
> And I can see that sv_SE.ISO-8859-1 is up-to-date.
> I've tried setting LANG and LANGUAGE in /etc/environment.
> I also tried adding LANG=sv_SE.ISO-8859-1 to /etc/default/locale,  
> and to
> my .bashrc.
> I've managed to change the language of the system, making it print in
> Swedish instead of English, but that's not what I want. The terminal  
> still
> uses UTF-8 though, not ISO-8859-1 as I want it to.
> Regards
> Erik

While I'm not exactly sure why you *don't* want to use UTF-8 (since it  
is becoming the default, standard character set in all operating  
systems), you can change it by changing the file /etc/default/console- 
setup.  In there you'll find the line 'CHARMAP="UTF-8"'.  You can  
change it to the character map you wish.  You might also need to  
change the 'CODESET' variable as well.  I would suggest a restart  
after making the change.

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