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when I open a tty (Ctrl + Alt + F1) it doesn't have utf-8 support. How can I enable it?

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There is a program unicode_start that puts the console in Unicode mode. In addition, the console can support a codepage of 256 (or 512) characters only at any given time, so you need to make sure that you have loaded a console font with the appropriate characters.

The Linux kernel maintainers do not accept patches for better Unicode support on the console because the console is to be used as an emergency interface. What needs to be done is write a terminal emulator for the Linux framebuffer that undertakes the support for Unicode. Something like a 'getty' replacement. This aspect of open-source development did not receive yet much attention.

Another deficiency with the existing Unicode of the Linux console is that you cannot use dead keys.

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"What needs to be done is write a terminal emulator for the Linux framebuffer that undertakes the support for Unicode." → fbterm? –  syockit May 21 '13 at 4:56
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YOu should install console-data package If you already install this package, reconfigure it using

dpkg-reconfigure console-data

And select correct keyboard disposition.

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