When I use the VT (CTRL+ALT+F1),it will only display replacement characters for chinese, but from the alternative installation CD I can see, that it's actually possible to display chinese in the VT. How to enable this?
I booted the 10.10 32-bit Ubuntu livecd, and chose what I'm pretty sure is simplified chinese (second to last option on the language menu). After it booted into the trial environment, I hit ctl-alt-f1, typed
ls, and was rewarded with diamonds instead of chinese. I conclude Ubuntu does not include chinese support for console/tty. Otoh, everything works wonderfully inside Gnome.
Fortunately, you can add chinese tty support. Install
fbiterm and run it on a tty. It's a frame buffer that can deal with non-latin characters. I don't know yet how to make fbiterm used by default.
@FUZxxl, running fbiterm on a fresh install of Ubuntu 10.10 in VirtualBox gives me your error
Frame buffer device /dev/fb0: Open error. I found an UbuntuForum.org thread that suggests you need to load the kernel module that allows frame buffers. It's a bit old..here's what I did:
/etc/initramfs-tools/modules. Add to the end of the file on separate lines:
sudo update-initramfs -u -k all.
Make sure you have a vga line set in
Now you can reboot and run
fbiterm at the virtual console.
I think, true "text mode" VT uses text video mode, so it's limited to 256/512 different chars at the same time. I don't know too much about the Chinese language, but I guess it has much more "letters" that other languages having an "alphabet" with 26 letters or so :) Though, I think Ubuntu uses framebuffer VT console (not text VGA mode based), so maybe in theory it's possible to do ...