23.5. Localizing FreeBSD to Specific Languages

23.5.1. Russian Language (KOI8-R Encoding)

Originally contributed by Andrey Chernov.

For more information about KOI8-R encoding, refer to KOI8-R References (Russian Net Character Set). Locale Setup

To set this locale, put the following lines into each user's ~/.login_conf:

me:My Account:\ :charset=KOI8-R:\ :lang=ru_RU.KOI8-R: Console Setup

  • Add the following lines to /etc/rc.conf:

    keymap="ru.koi8-r" scrnmap="koi8-r2cp866" font8x16="cp866b-8x16" font8x14="cp866-8x14" font8x8="cp866-8x8" mousechar_start=3
  • For each ttyv entry in /etc/ttys, use cons25r as the terminal type. Printer Setup

Since most printers with Russian characters come with hardware code page CP866, a special output filter is needed to convert from KOI8-R to CP866. FreeBSD installs a default filter as /usr/libexec/lpr/ru/koi2alt. A Russian printer /etc/printcap entry should look like:

lp|Russian local line printer:\ :sh:of=/usr/libexec/lpr/ru/koi2alt:\ :lp=/dev/lpt0:sd=/var/spool/output/lpd:lf=/var/log/lpd-errs:

Refer to printcap(5) for a more detailed description. MS-DOS® and Russian Filenames

The following example fstab(5) entry enables support for Russian filenames in mounted MS-DOS® filesystems:

/dev/ad0s2 /dos/c msdos rw,-Lru_RU.KOI8-R 0 0

-L selects the locale name. Refer to mount_msdosfs(8) for more details. Xorg Setup

  1. First, configure the non-X locale setup.

  2. When using Xorg, install the x11-fonts/xorg-fonts-cyrillic package.

    Check the "Files" section in /etc/X11/xorg.conf. The following line must be added before any other FontPath entries:

    FontPath "/usr/local/lib/X11/fonts/cyrillic"


    Search the Ports Collection for more Cyrillic fonts.

  3. To activate a Russian keyboard, add the following to the "Keyboard" section of /etc/xorg.conf:

    Option "XkbLayout" "us,ru" Option "XkbOptions" "grp:toggle"

    Make sure that XkbDisable is commented out in that file.

    For grp:toggle use Right Alt, for grp:ctrl_shift_toggle use Ctrl+Shift. For grp:caps_toggle use CapsLock. The old CapsLock function is still available in LAT mode only using Shift+CapsLock. grp:caps_toggle does not work in Xorg for some unknown reason.

    If the keyboard has Windows® keys, and some non-alphabetical keys are mapped incorrectly, add the following line to /etc/xorg.conf:

    Option "XkbVariant" ",winkeys"


    The Russian XKB keyboard may not work with non-localized applications.


Minimally localized applications should call a XtSetLanguageProc (NULL, NULL, NULL); function early in the program.

See KOI8-R for X Window for more instructions on localizing Xorg applications.

23.5.2. Traditional Chinese Localization for Taiwan

The FreeBSD-Taiwan Project has a Chinese HOWTO for FreeBSD at http://netlab.cse.yzu.edu.tw/~statue/freebsd/zh-tut/ using many Chinese ports. The current editor for the FreeBSD Chinese HOWTO is Shen Chuan-Hsing .

23.5.3. German Language Localization for All ISO 8859-1 Languages

Slaven Rezic wrote a tutorial on using umlauts on FreeBSD. The tutorial is written in German and is available at http://user.cs.tu-berlin.de/~eserte/FreeBSD/doc/umlaute/umlaute.html.

23.5.4. Greek Language Localization

Nikos Kokkalis has written a complete article on Greek support in FreeBSD. It is available here, in Greek only, as part of the official FreeBSD Greek documentation.

23.5.5. Japanese and Korean Language Localization

For Japanese, refer to http://www.jp.FreeBSD.org/, and for Korean, refer to http://www.kr.FreeBSD.org/.

23.5.6. Non-English FreeBSD Documentation

Some FreeBSD contributors have translated parts of the FreeBSD documentation to other languages. They are available through links on the main site or in /usr/share/doc.

All FreeBSD documents are available for download at http://ftp.FreeBSD.org/pub/FreeBSD/doc/

Questions that are not answered by the documentation may be sent to <freebsd-questions@FreeBSD.org>.

Send questions about this document to <freebsd-doc@FreeBSD.org>.