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I am on a minimal debian testing install. I've set up rxvt-unicode, herbstluftwm, and SLiM.

With my username, after SLiM logs me in, all of the urxvt terminal instances i start lack unicode support.

If I do sudo urxvt, then the new urxvt instance shows unicode characters in the terminal (as root).

This is a new install in a vm. Before I set up SLiM, I had unicode support as a user. at some point afterwards, I no longer saw the characters.

This issue seems very similar to this question, but I wasnt able to see any similar actions I could take.


relevant configs:

SLiM

default_path        /usr/local/bin:/usr/bin:/bin:/usr/local/games:/usr/games
default_xserver     /usr/bin/X11/X
xserver_arguments   -nolisten tcp    
halt_cmd            /sbin/shutdown -h now
reboot_cmd          /sbin/shutdown -r now
console_cmd         /usr/bin/xterm-C -fg white -bg black +sb -T "Console login" -e /bin/sh -c "/bin/cat /etc/issue.net; exec /bin/login"    
xauth_path         /usr/bin/X11/xauth    
authfile           /var/run/slim.auth
numlock             on    
# hidecursor          false       
login_cmd           exec /bin/bash -login ~/.xinitrc %session
# login_cmd           exec /bin/bash -login /etc/X11/Xsession %session       
# sessionstart_cmd  some command
# sessionstop_cmd   some command        
# daemon    yes       
sessiondir            /usr/share/xsessions/    
screenshot_cmd      scrot ~/img/slim.png        
welcome_msg         Welcome to %host        
# session_msg         Session:         
shutdown_msg       The system is halting...
reboot_msg         The system is rebooting...        
default_user       seldon         
focus_password      yes        
auto_login          yes    
current_theme       debian-joy    
lockfile            /var/run/slim.lock
logfile             /var/log/slim.log

User env

SHELL=/bin/bash
TERM=rxvt-unicode-256color
XDG_SESSION_COOKIE=f71ffba1619e7393bb13421e5323c9ee-1394949532.816048-1558277790
WINDOWID=23068679
USER=seldon
MAIL=/var/mail/seldon
PATH=/home/seldon/bin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/bin:
      /bin:/usr/local/games:/usr/games:/home/seldon/bin
PWD=/home/seldon
LANG=en_US.utf8
COLORFGBG=default;default
SHLVL=1
HOME=/home/seldon
LS_OPTIONS=--color=auto --group-directories-first
LOGNAME=seldon
DISPLAY=:0.0
COLORTERM=urxvt
XAUTHORITY=/home/seldon/.Xauthority
_=/usr/bin/env

Root env

SHELL=/bin/bash
TERM=rxvt-unicode-256color
WINDOWID=20971527
USER=root
SUDO_USER=seldon
SUDO_UID=1000
USERNAME=root
MAIL=/var/mail/root
PATH=/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/sbin:/bin:/root/bin
PWD=/home/seldon
LANG=en_US.utf8
SHLVL=1
COLORFGBG=default;default
SUDO_COMMAND=/usr/bin/rxvt
HOME=/root
LS_OPTIONS=--color=auto --group-directories-first
LOGNAME=root
SUDO_GID=1000
DISPLAY=:0.0
COLORTERM=urxvt
XAUTHORITY=/home/seldon/.Xauthority
_=/usr/bin/env

Xresources

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!! Terminal Colors
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

! ... removed for brevity ...



!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!! URxvt Config 
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

! buffer
URxvt*saveLines: 12000

! fonts
URxvt*font: xft:DejaVu Sans Mono:pixelsize=12:antialias=true:hinting=true
URxvt*boldFont: xft:DejaVu Sans Mono:bold:pixelsize=12:antialias=true:hinting=true

! URxvt*font: xft:Bitstream Vera Sans Mono:pixelsize=12:antialias=true:hinting=true
! URxvt*boldFont: xft:Bitstream Vera Sans Mono:bold:pixelsize=12:antialias=true:hinting=true


! transparency
! URxvt*transparent: true
! URxvt*shading: 25

URxvt*depth: 32
URxvt.background: [75]#000000

! scrollbars
!    active - true (default) or false
URxvt*scrollBar: false

!    position - left=false (default) or right=true
URxvt*scrollBar_right: false

!    style - rxvt (default), plain, next, or xterm
URxvt*scrollstyle: rxvt

! borders
URxvt*borderless: true

xinitrc

#!/bin/bash

xrandr -s 8    
hsetroot -fill /home/seldon/img/olCTXdz.jpg &    

function wm() {    
    xrdb -load ~/.Xresources &    
    compton -cb -o0    
    exec $1 -c /home/seldon/.config/herbstluftwm/autostart    
}

[[ -z $1 ]] && wm herbstluftwm

wm $1
3
  • What's you distro? Display manager? Mar 16, 2014 at 6:31
  • I am on a minimal debian testing install (distro). I've set up rxvt-unicode (terminal), herbstluftwm (window manager), and SLiM (login mananger) Mar 16, 2014 at 17:53
  • after doing some research I believe the issue is related to terminal behavior described here. Unfortunately the arch way of defining locale.conf doesnt seem to apply in debian, so I am now reviewing the equivalent debian docs. What still confuses me is that I have set LANG in my user's .bashrc (see above), and urxvt still seemed to be missing unicode support. Mar 16, 2014 at 19:56

1 Answer 1

1

Ok... after reading TFM I found the answer, at least for Debian. According to the debian docs on locale, the default system wide locale is set in /etc/profile. After adding a line export LANG="en_US.utf8" all worked as it should.

The docs indicate that setting this value in /etc/default/locale should be enough, but it also mentions the /etc/profile as an alternative method.

For anyone else having similar issues:

  • I ran across this arch forum post which mentions a difference between setting the locale for your login terminal session, and your X session.
  • If urxvt does not have a unicode based locale set when it is run, then it defaults to not having unicode support. I found that here

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