I have a problem with non-ASCII characters in the Terminal on Mac. If I write:

echo ÆØÅ

Then press Enter, Arrow Up, Arrow Left, so the cursor is between the Ø and the Å, then write X, then the Å is converted to ?, and if I press Enter, the following is echoed:


Pressing Ctrl+A and Ctrl+E with non-ASCII characters entered also causes a mess.

My settings are as follows:

export LC_ALL="nb_NO.UTF-8"

set input-meta on
set output-meta on
set convert-meta off

Terminal > Settings > Advanced > Declare terminal as: xterm

Unsetting LC_ALL has no effect. Changing the .inputrc settings just seems to make things worse.

I really hope someone has the answer to this.

  • 1
    What version of bash? Older versions of bash didn't support editing UTF8 text very well Aug 6, 2013 at 9:00
  • Are you sure nb_NO.UTF-8 is a valid locale name on your system? Does it show up in the output of locale -a? What does locale charmap tell you? Aug 6, 2013 at 9:03
  • Could you post that as an answer so the question can be marked as answered please?
    – terdon
    Aug 6, 2013 at 13:11

1 Answer 1


nb_NO.UTF-8 did indeed not exist. Changing to no_NO.UTF-8 solved the problem. Actually, the problem was introduced by LANG=C which was set for some other reason. Removing this makes OS X set LC_CTYPE=UTF-8 by default, which works out of the box.

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