UNICODE_START(1)           General Commands Manual          UNICODE_START(1)

NAME         top

       unicode_start - put keyboard and console in unicode mode

SYNOPSIS         top

       unicode_start [font [umap]]

DESCRIPTION         top

       The unicode_start command will put the keyboard and console into
       Unicode (UTF-8) mode.

       For the keyboard this means that one can attach 16-bit U+xxxx values
       to keyboard keys using loadkeys(1), and have these appear as UTF-8
       input to user programs.  Also, that one can type hexadecimal Alt-xxxx
       using the numeric keypad, and again produce UTF-8.

       For the console this means that the kernel expects UTF-8 output from
       user programs, and displays the output accordingly.

       The parameter font is a font that is loaded. It should have a built-
       in Unicode map, or, if it hasn't, such a map can be given explicitly
       as second parameter.  When no font was specified, the current font is

NOTE         top

       Unicode mode is a parameter with a value per virtual console.
       However, usually the font and keymap is common to all consoles.

SEE ALSO         top

       dumpkeys(1), kbd_mode(1), loadkeys(1), unicode_stop(1), utf-8(7),

COLOPHON         top

       This page is part of the kbd (Linux keyboard tools) project.
       Information about the project can be found at 
       ⟨⟩.  If you have a bug report for this man‐
       ual page, send it to  This page was obtained
       from the project's upstream Git repository 
       ⟨git://⟩ on
       2017-05-03.  If you discover any rendering problems in this HTML ver‐
       sion of the page, or you believe there is a better or more up-to-date
       source for the page, or you have corrections or improvements to the
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       ual page), send a mail to

                                 3 Feb 2001                 UNICODE_START(1)

Pages that refer to this page: unicode_stop(1)setfont(8)