I am working with an old Raspberry Pi that only has text mode. Distro is Raspberry Pi OS based on Debian 11. By default the emoji characters only print as white diamond shapes in tty; in fbterm they show up as question mark in diamond shape.

I can get fbterm to display glyph like Chinese characters by installing a proper font, e.g., "fonts-wqy-zenhei". However, this does not seem to work even after I install emoji fonts, like "noto-color-emoji".

  • fbterm is abandonware, I would not expect basic stuff to work at this point. even non-bitmap fonts don't render properly anymore. Commented Apr 1, 2023 at 20:14
  • @éclairevoyant Any recommendation for alternatives that can run directly in tty to show more complex fonts?
    – charlesz
    Commented Apr 3, 2023 at 2:54

1 Answer 1


Emojis are graphical elements. Terminals like fbterm are character-based, and cannot display graphical elements.

In terminal environments you're limited to smileys such as :-) or ;-) just like in ye olden days.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .