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Debian Euro HOWTO (Obsolete Documentation)
Chapter 5 - Frequently Asked Questions

5.1 I see a strange character instead of the euro

If you are seeing a character that seems to be a circle with four lines streching out of it (the international symbol for currency) and not the euro symbol then the font you are using does not properly represent euros but your keyboard is sending it properly. Please check your environment/applications in order to see that you are using ISO-8859-15 fonts and not ISO-8859-1.

5.2 The euro character gets lost when switching from X to console

FIX: Run (as superuser) /etc/init.d/console-screen reload (if console-tools is installed), or run setfont -u (if kbd is installed).

REASON: There are fonts with an unicode map in the .psf file and others that do not include it. If these last ones are used the Linux kernel unicode map resets and when you return from an X virtual terminal the map is garbled. The Keyboard and Console HOWTO (available at /usr/share/doc/HOWTO/en-txt/Keyboard-and-Console-HOWTO.txt.gz if you have the doc-linux package) elaborates a little bit on this.

5.3 How do I see if my keyboard is properly configured?

(Console terminal) You should see 'currency' when doing:

     $ dumpkeys  |grep -i currency

(X graphic environment) You should see 'currency' when doing:

     $ xmodmap -pke | grep -i EuroSign

5.4 How do I see if I can represent euros properly?

If using ISO-8859-15:

     $ printf "\xa4\n"

If using UTF-8:

     $ printf "\xe2\x82\xac\n"

Of course, you can also see if the characters euro and cent are represented correctly by taking a look at a document that includes them. euro-support includes a representation of these in /usr/share/doc/euro-support/examples/characters, just cat the file and see if they get printed to the screen correctly.

5.5 I'm using framebuffer, can I represent euros on console?

Yes you can, (from the FrameBuffer-HOWTO) you just need to use the kbd package version 0.99 or later.

5.6 I can input the euro character when running 'euro-test' but this behaviour is lost when X is restarted.

The euro-test program will input the proper keycodes to input the euro character using xmodmap. If you are able to use the keyboard combination to input the Euro character after using the program but cannot do it once you restart the X server, then the problem is that your default keyboard definitions are not properly setup.

In Debian woody 3.0 (which provides xfree86-common version 4.1.0-16) most xkb layouts include the Euro sign [1] but if you suffer this issue then file a wishlist bug against the xlibs package.

5.7 What is the longterm solution for this issue?

Move towards UTF-8 encoding and separation of localisation and representation (no more XX_XX.ISO-8859-X).

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Debian Euro HOWTO (Obsolete Documentation)

version 1.2, june 4th 2003.

Javier Fernández-Sanguino Peña mailto:jfs@computer.org