Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a console application which is displaying special symbols like

☢ ☍ ⌘ ✰ ⣿ ⚡ ☯ ⚑  ↺  ⤴  ⤵

No matter where - putty(UTF8+Use Unicode line drawing, but I guess it's not client issue), local console, SecureCRT - I can't see them. Instead just squares. Here is my shell env variables


Any idea how to make terminal to show those symbols correctly?


Glyph I am interested in

python -c 'print u"\u22c5 \u22c5\u22c5 \u201d \u2019 \u266f \u2622 \u260d \u2318 \u2730 " \
    u"\u28ff \u26a1 \u262f \u2691 \u21ba \u2934 \u2935 \u2206 \u231a \u2240\u2207 \u2707 " \
    u"\u26a0\xa0\u25d4 \u26a1\xa0\u21af \xbf \u2a02 \u2716 \u21e3 \u21e1  \u2801 \u2809 " \
    u"\u280b \u281b \u281f \u283f \u287f \u28ff \u2639 \u2780 \u2781 \u2782 \u2783 \u2784 " \
    u"\u2785 \u2786 \u2787 \u2788 \u2789 \u25b9\xa0\u254d \u25aa \u26af \u2692 \u25cc " \
    u"\u21c5 \u21a1 \u219f \u229b \u267a ".encode("utf8")'

Screenshot with Ubuntu font

enter image description here

Screenshot with DejaVu font

enter image description here

share|improve this question
Because this is a local rendering issue with PuTTY on Windows, the proper answer to your question is that (a) this is neither Ubuntu's fault, nor (b) Ubuntu’s problem. – Jeremy Visser Feb 27 '12 at 12:26
@JeremyVisser: I never said this is Ubuntu problem. Just looking for some way to have similar rendering on Windows. Sorry, I didn't wanted to offend Ubuntu in no way )) – Pablo Feb 27 '12 at 12:32
up vote 3 down vote accepted

I just copied the characters from your example and echoed them in a terminal window:

UTF-8 Characters test in GNOME Terminal

I guess TTYs do not have that much character support, so it could be a font issue.

share|improve this answer
Definitely a font issue. As long as the terminal is using utf-8 charset, it will be able to handle any utf-8 characters, though if the font doesn't have a symbol for the given character, it will be displayed as a rectangle. – geirha Feb 24 '12 at 17:03
Actually I am using server edition, not desktop. The same problem appears when I am connecting from windows using Putty or SecureCRT. I tried all proportional fonts in Putty. Some are partially showing the symbols, but still couldn't find any font that will display all chars. Regional settings is set to English(US) on Putty side. – Pablo Feb 25 '12 at 2:56
@Pablo Have you tried the Ubuntu font? ( As far as I know, the terminal uses Ubuntu mono. – lgarzo Feb 27 '12 at 12:06
@lgarzo: I've updated original post with screenshot. As you can see the majority of symbols are not displayed. I nailed down the issue to finding Unicode font supporting 2000-29FF unicode ranga as per Wiki . So far Everson Mono is the closest but faaaar away from what your screenshot is. Second is DejaVu Sans Mono but lacking many symbols and not clear. Puzzled... – Pablo Feb 27 '12 at 12:24
@Pablo I've tried PuTTY on Linux, it works (got the same results as in the screenshot above). However on Windows PuTTY seems to have different ideas about font encoding despite UTF-8 is selected on the Translation page. (Even the font webpage cannot display all the needed characters in a browser). If the TTFs in the zip are the same as the font in Ubuntu, I cannot put my finger on what's going wrong. – lgarzo Feb 27 '12 at 12:52

I support @lgarzo. You may try some bigger fonts, especially oriental ones:

$ aptitude install ttf-wqy-microhei
share|improve this answer

... putty(UTF8+Use Unicode ...

Rather than using a hex escape sequence, it maybe easier to use the actual characters to test for resident fonts (if a character is missing this is an oxymoron since it will not be possible to choose it! - which means a source machine must create a file with the desired symbols in it and then display that file with the target machine).

Programmed glyph generation can also be done using character/UTF pairings of unicodes by extraction of UTF-8 or UTF-16:

    python -c 'print "⌘ ✰ ⣿ ⚡ ☯ ⚑ ↺ ⤴ ⤵ ∆ ⌚"'
    ⌘ ✰ ⣿ ⚡ ☯ ⚑ ↺ ⤴ ⤵ ∆ ⌚

    python -c 'print "⌘ ✰ ⣿ ⚡ ☯ ⚑ ↺ ⤴ ⤵ ∆ ⌚".decode("unicode_escape")'
    â Ⱐ⣿ ⡠⯠â ⺠⤴ ⤵ â â

    python -c 'print "⌘ ✰ ⣿ ⚡ ☯ ⚑ ↺ ⤴ ⤵ ∆ ⌚".decode("unicode_escape")
    \xe2\x8c\x98 \xe2\x9c\xb0 \xe2\xa3\xbf \xe2\x9a\xa1 \xe2\x98\xaf \xe2\x9a\x91
    \xe2\x86\xba \xe2\xa4\xb4 \xe2\xa4\xb5 \xe2\x88\x86 \xe2\x8c\x9a

    python -c 'print "⌘ ✰ ⣿ ⚡ ☯ ⚑ ↺ ⤴ ⤵ ∆ ⌚".decode("unicode_escape")
    ⌘ ✰ ⣿ ⚡ ☯ ⚑ ↺ ⤴ ⤵ ∆ ⌚

    Python 2.7.3 (default, Apr 20 2012, 22:44:07) 
    [GCC 4.6.3] on linux2
    Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
    >>> u"⌘ ✰ ⣿ ⚡ ☯ ⚑ ↺ ⤴ ⤵ ∆ ⌚"
    u'\u2318 \u2730 \u28ff \u26a1 \u262f \u2691 \u21ba \u2934 \u2935 \u2206 \u231a'

Unicode glyphs can be rendered using UTF-8 or UTF-16
thus Unicode U+2318 or UTF-16: 0x2318 or is UTF-8: 0xE2 0x8C 0x98

Font details for a character can be found by literally searching for it in character map. It is run as an icon utility or activated with the gnome-character-map or gucharmap terminal command. Press and hold the right mouse button over the character to identify the font of residence. Also, use Show only glyphs in this font in the View menu and then scroll through the font list with an arrow key to quickly find the character's font with other resident characters.

previous answer below reiterates the obvious - was looking at answers rather than question

ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ echo '☢ ☍ ⌘ ✰ ⣿ ⚡ ☯ ⚑  ↺  ⤴  ⤵'
☢ ☍ ⌘ ✰ ⣿ ⚡ ☯ ⚑  ↺  ⤴  ⤵


python -c 'print u"\xbf  \n FreeSerif\n"  \
  u"\u2019 \u201d \u219f \u21a1 \u21af \u21ba \u21c5 \u21e1 \u21e3 \n" \
  u"\u2206 \u2207 \u2240 \u229b \u22c5 \u22c5\u22c5 \u2318 \u231a \n"  \
  u"\u25aa \u25b9 \u25cc \u25d4 \n"   \
  u"\u260d \u2622 \u262f \u2639 \u266f \u267a \u2691 \u2692 \u26a0 \u26a1 \u26af \n" \
  u"\u2780 \u2781 \u2782 \u2783 \u2784 \u2785 \u2786 \u2787 \u2788 \u2789 \n"  \
  u"\u2707 \u2716 \u2730 \u2a02 \n DejaVu\n"   \
  u"\u2801 \u2809 \u280b \u281b \u281f \u283f \u287f \u28ff \n"  \
  u"\u2934 \u2935 \u254d   \n".encode("utf8")'


’ ” ↟ ↡ ↯ ↺ ⇅ ⇡ ⇣ 
∆ ∇ ≀ ⊛ ⋅ ⋅⋅ ⌘ ⌚ 
▪ ▹ ◌ ◔ 
☍ ☢ ☯ ☹ ♯ ♺ ⚑ ⚒ ⚠ ⚡ ⚯ 
✇ ✖ ✰ ⨂ 
➀ ➁ ➂ ➃ ➄ ➅ ➆ ➇ ➈ ➉ 
⠁ ⠉ ⠋ ⠛ ⠟ ⠿ ⡿ ⣿ 
⤴ ⤵ ╍   

using gnome-terminal

ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ echo \$TERM = $TERM \  \$LANG = $LANG
$TERM = xterm   $LANG = en_US.UTF-8


ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ lsb_release -a
No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID: Ubuntu
Description:    Ubuntu 12.04 LTS
Release:    12.04
Codename:   precise

note: EOT and ENQ symbols are wrong
ref: How can unicode symbols u+2404 ␄ EOT and u+2405 ␅ ENQ be corrected?

python -c 'print u"This is ^D EOT (NB!! no ;) \u2404 and ENQ ^E \u2405 ".encode("utf8")'
This is ^D EOT (NB!! no ;) ␄ and ENQ ^E ␅ 
share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.