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I have an installer program which runs in a default Ubuntu 12.04 Linux VT console and uses the "dialog" program to display simple graphical input boxes. After the user selects either Chinese or Japanese and my installer sets the LANG=zh_CN.utf8 and LANG=ja_JP.utf8, the output characters turn all to diamonds.

I figured that I needed to run setfont to one of the fonts in /usr/share/consolefonts but examining the fonts there, I do not find one that looks chinese or japanese. A few google searches have let me to pages which indicate the Linux's console does not support these languages and that I would need another console program to gain that capability.

1) Is it true that the default Linux console does not provide support for japanese or chinese?

2) If it does have support, what do I need to do in order to enable it? If fonts are required, what would their names be or where can they be obtained as an ubuntu package?

3) If it does not have support, does another console (zhcon or chdrv) provide such support? Will they work in VT mode (I have up to 8 virtual terminals running)? What is the process for installing and using such a console?

4) Can a replacement console be used for all my other languages? That is, do console replacements like chrdrv support the ability to display the characters for all the other languages?

Thanks in advance. Roger R. Cruz

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I don't think it's possible. There is only room for a few hundred chars in the standard vga/console. Perhaps one of the Japanese alphabets would technically be possible, but not Chinese. A few more details are here:

What I would suggest is to try fbterm:

sudo apt-get install fbterm

It can display a much wider range of UTF-8, so there is a decent chance it will support Chinese if the default font does. Perhaps that can be changed too.

Another choice of last resort might be Pinyin, though I have no idea if significant number of Chinese understand it.

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