I'm still new to Linux and Unix-like systems and I've tried to search on the internet about my issue. Unfortunately I don't get a feasible answer right now.

My problem is that the console(tty) on my Debian linux can't display any language other than English where it's a bit inconvenient for me as I have some folders and files on my disks with names in Chinese. When I try to locate the files in a terminal window of the Gnome desktop, however, it displays the Chinese characters for me perfectly. How can I get the file names displayed right in the console(tty)?

Thanks for your help.


Short answer: you can't.

Longer: the Linux console has limited ability to display Unicode in the console, supporting only 512 glyphs (which is a minuscule slice of Chinese). The reason this is because it stores the information in (kernel) memory. Furthermore, when doing this, it reduces the number of video attributes available (usually by eliminating "bold").

You can reportedly setup a framebuffer device, noting that few people discuss this in active use (it may not work well).

Further reading:

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