I've been setting up archlinuxarm installs on my headless raspberry pis and I recently ran into an interesting problem. All of the characters []\{}| are being displayed as different characters in my terminal when connecting over SSH. It doesn't prevent anything from working it is just strange to see and annoying that I don't know how to fix it.

Here is what my bash prompt looks like:

Æuser@host ~Å$ instead of [user@host ~]$

And if I were to show the contents of a file containing the character [ it would instead be displayed as Æ.

The problem is not with my terminal as it was working fine before (and still works with other raspberry pis).

I've tried to regenerate the locales, reset the keyboard-layout, but I cannot seem to fix this. I don't even know where to begin searching. I think the change occurred when I accidentally cat a large binary file but I don't know what could have happened. I have rebooted several times and compared configs to my other archlinuxarm install and cannot seem to see a difference.

Has anyone experienced this or can anyone offer any advice on what might have caused this?



I was going to call it an evening so I started closing terminal. Decided to check one last time by SSHing from my other alarmpi to the weird-character-alarmpi and that apparently did the trick? Not really sure what is going on but it is fixed.

1 Answer 1


Your binary data file probably included some sequences that messed up your terminal. Odd that only those characters changed. Sometimes your whole terminal may be gobledihook. You can issue the reset command to clean it up to the initial state.

Or you can open a new terminal window.

  • It's not odd at all. ECMA-35 (ISO/IEC 2022) has hundreds of registered 7-bit character sets, a number of which are simple ECMA-6 (ISO/IEC 646) variants or compatible. That's probably the Nordisk Avisteknisk Samarbetsnämnd (NATS) character set for Denmark and Norway.
    – JdeBP
    Sep 9, 2020 at 5:09
  • Thanks for the explanations!
    – Collin
    Sep 9, 2020 at 7:18

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