23.4. Locale Configuration for Specific Languages

This section provides configuration examples for localizing a FreeBSD system for the Russian language. It then provides some additional resources for localizing other languages.

23.4.1. Russian Language (KOI8-R Encoding)

Originally contributed by Andrey Chernov.

This section shows the specific settings needed to localize a FreeBSD system for the Russian language. Refer to Using Localization for a more complete description of each type of setting.

To set this locale for the login shell, add the following lines to each user's ~/.login_conf:

me:My Account:\

To configure the console, add the following lines to /etc/rc.conf:


For each ttyv entry in /etc/ttys, use cons25r as the terminal type.

To configure printing, a special output filter is needed to convert from KOI8-R to CP866 since most printers with Russian characters come with hardware code page CP866. FreeBSD includes a default filter for this purpose, /usr/libexec/lpr/ru/koi2alt. To use this filter, add this entry to /etc/printcap:

lp|Russian local line printer:\

Refer to printcap(5) for a more detailed explanation.

To configure support for Russian filenames in mounted MS-DOS® file systems, include -L and the locale name when adding an entry to /etc/fstab:

/dev/ad0s2      /dos/c  msdos   rw,-Lru_RU.KOI8-R 0 0

Refer to mount_msdosfs(8) for more details.

To configure Russian fonts for Xorg, install the x11-fonts/xorg-fonts-cyrillic package. Then, check the "Files" section in /etc/X11/xorg.conf. The following line must be added before any other FontPath entries:

FontPath   "/usr/local/lib/X11/fonts/cyrillic"

Additional Cyrillic fonts are available in the Ports Collection.

To activate a Russian keyboard, add the following to the "Keyboard" section of /etc/xorg.conf:

Option "XkbLayout"   "us,ru"
Option "XkbOptions"  "grp:toggle"

Make sure that XkbDisable is commented out in that file.

For grp:toggle use Right Alt, for grp:ctrl_shift_toggle use Ctrl+Shift. For grp:caps_toggle use CapsLock. The old CapsLock function is still available in LAT mode only using Shift+CapsLock. grp:caps_toggle does not work in Xorg for some unknown reason.

If the keyboard has Windows® keys, and some non-alphabetical keys are mapped incorrectly, add the following line to /etc/xorg.conf:

Option "XkbVariant" ",winkeys"


The Russian XKB keyboard may not work with non-localized applications. Minimally localized applications should call a XtSetLanguageProc (NULL, NULL, NULL); function early in the program.

See http://koi8.pp.ru/xwin.html for more instructions on localizing Xorg applications. For more general information about KOI8-R encoding, refer to http://koi8.pp.ru/.

23.4.2. Additional Language-Specific Resources

This section lists some additional resources for configuring other locales.

Traditional Chinese for Taiwan

The FreeBSD-Taiwan Project has a Chinese HOWTO for FreeBSD at http://netlab.cse.yzu.edu.tw/~statue/freebsd/zh-tut/.

Greek Language Localization

A complete article on Greek support in FreeBSD is available here, in Greek only, as part of the official FreeBSD Greek documentation.

Japanese and Korean Language Localization

For Japanese, refer to http://www.jp.FreeBSD.org/, and for Korean, refer to http://www.kr.FreeBSD.org/.

Non-English FreeBSD Documentation

Some FreeBSD contributors have translated parts of the FreeBSD documentation to other languages. They are available through links on the FreeBSD web site or in /usr/share/doc.

All FreeBSD documents are available for download at https://download.freebsd.org/ftp/doc/

Questions that are not answered by the documentation may be sent to <freebsd-questions@FreeBSD.org>.
Send questions about this document to <freebsd-doc@FreeBSD.org>.