I trying to learn using vim, I am enjoining a lot, but I copied the vimrc from github and I would like to understand what is causing the break of powerline encoding.

.Snapshot of my vim

  1. In the vimrc file I have: set encoding=utf-8
  2. I cleared the PowerLine cache
  3. My vim version doesn't show the --with-features=big flag.

Could this be the problem and if yes, how can I fix it?


Firstly, you want to check that your terminal has Unicode enabled. According to Ubuntu's locale help page, you should edit the file /etc/default/locale to have this content:


(replace en_US with your language, of course), and then run:

sudo locale-gen

You may need to log out and log in again. Test by executing this (found here):

$ echo -e "\xE2\x98\xA0"

The output should be ☠.

Secondly, Powerline uses a few special glyphs in the Unicode Private Use Area, so you should read the docs on Fontconfig. The font installation requires 2 main steps:

  1. Put the font file PowerlineSymbols.otf in ~/.fonts/ (or another X font directory)
  2. Put the font config file 10-powerline-symbols.conf in either ~/.fonts.conf.d/ or ~/.config/fontconfig/conf.d/, depending on your fontconfig version (~/.config/fontconfig/conf.d/ is newer, but I'm not sure since when it's available)

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