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Debian GNU/Linux FAQ
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4.8 How does Debian support non-English languages?

  • Debian GNU/Linux is distributed with keymaps for nearly two dozen keyboards, and with utilities (in the kbd package) to install, view, and modify the tables.

    The installation prompts the user to specify the keyboard he will use.

  • Vast majority of the software we packaged supports entering non-US-ASCII characters used in other Latin languages (e.g. ISO-8859-1 or ISO-8859-2), and a number of programs support multi-byte languages such as Japanese or Chinese.
  • Currently, support for German-, Spanish-, Finnish-, French-, Hungarian-, Italian-, Japanese-, Korean- and Polish-language manual pages is provided through the manpages-LANG packages (where LANG is the two-letter ISO country code). To access an NLS manual page, the user must set the shell LC_MESSAGES variable to the appropriate string.

    For example, in the case of the Italian-language manual pages, LC_MESSAGES needs to be set to 'italian'. The man program will then search for Italian manual pages under /usr/share/man/it/.


Debian GNU/Linux FAQ
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