[ubuntu-za] Special characters (compose key)

Péter Nel petern2 at openweb.co.za
Wed Jan 14 17:06:17 GMT 2009

Hash: SHA1

The special character (e-acute-accent) comes through as '?' when
arriving from the mailing-list (i guess it's because mail used to only
understand ascii, perhaps the list server isn't configured to process
those characters correctly..

The default way in ubuntu is to use the "compose" key, I think the
default key is GrAlt (right alt); e.g.:
<compose> ' e
   := é (e-acute)
<compose> <shift-6> e
  := <compose> ^ e
  := ê (e-circumflex)
<compose> a e := æ (ae)
<compose> <shift-'> <shift-A>
   := <compose> " A
   :=  Ä (capital A with diaeresis/umlaut)

... easy!

See complete list here: http://hermit.org/Linux/ComposeKeys.html

Mine is custom set to rwin (right 'windows' key).

If didn't work out-of-the-box, it used to be specified in
/etc/X11/xorg.conf. My current entry is..
# commented out by update-manager, HAL is now used
#Section "InputDevice"
#    Identifier    "Generic Keyboard"
#    Driver        "kbd"
#    Option        "XkbRules"    "xorg"
#    Option        "XkbModel"    "pc104"
#    Option        "XkbLayout"    "us"
#    Option       "XkbOptions"     "compose:rwin"

..the "XkbOptions" line. As the comment says, HAL is now being used
(since intrepid), and that setting doesn't work anymore...
The 8.10 release notes
the input device settings moved to /etc/default/console-setup; near
the end of mine (i think I had to modify this manually back then) I've
# The following variables describe your keyboard and can have the same
# values as the XkbModel, XkbLayout, XkbVariant and XkbOptions options
# in /etc/X11/xorg.conf.

I think you need to run
$ sudo dpkg-reconfigure console-setup
to change it.

Then you need to restart X & HAL (i.e. reboot system)

Hope it helps.

PS This is why I love this OS - the above is the crystallized form of
hours worth of effort getting mine to work.. he he

PPS What can be done to fix the character sent out by the mailing
list? Anyone?

Péter Nel
"They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security,
deserve neither liberty nor security"
           - Benjamin Franklin

CM Schoonbee wrote:
> Hi Peter,
> Looking through your info, I can find nothing that looks relevant
> in common between our systems (except the Realtek ethernet
> controller!).  So this may be a fairly common problem with default
> installs.
> Cheers, Chris
> PS How do you create the special character in your first name in an
>  email?
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Comment: Using GnuPG with Mozilla - http://enigmail.mozdev.org


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