Currently, I opened my gnome terminal and the default charset is gb2312.

How can set the default charset to utf8 in Gnome terminal?

I checked the preference setting but seemed not to find it.

Thanks for any help!

2 Answers 2


I found the answer buried in an Ubuntu forums thread (I'd asked a similar question here):

gconftool --set --type=string /apps/gnome-terminal/profiles/Default/encoding en_US.UTF-8

  • +1 tried all other solutions suggested here but this one did the trick.
    – In-Ho Yi
    Commented Dec 8, 2014 at 18:39
  • This worked for me! Commented Mar 31, 2015 at 21:50
  • +1. This is the only solution that worked for me! All the other stackexchange answers to this question don't work.
    – user855
    Commented May 6, 2015 at 22:45
  • If you come to this answer and you've "tried it all", this is your last stop. Only thing that worked for me in Ubuntu 12.04 Commented Jan 28, 2016 at 18:57

Simply right-click anywhere on the terminal and select Show Menubar and from the menu bar you select Terminal > Set Character Encoding > Unicode (UTF-8). At least this works using gnome-terminal 3.2.1.

  • 3
    But it won't keep the change next time you opened it. Commented Jan 2, 2012 at 13:03
  • Ok, but what's the output of locale? I think you need to set the systems locale to an UTF-8 variant e.g en_US.UTF-8 in order to make it permanent. To list all enabled locales, run locale -a. To enable a locale, uncomment it in /etc/locale.gen and run locale-gen to update the list.
    – user13742
    Commented Jan 2, 2012 at 14:53
  • 5
    My locale is en_US.UTF-8 but I'm still not getting UTF-8 encoding when I start gnome-terminal. Commented Oct 16, 2013 at 16:37

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