Red Hat Bugzilla – Bug 80030
hyphen (minus sign) is wrongly displayed in X consoles
Last modified: 2007-04-18 12:49:09 EDT
From Bugzilla Helper:
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.0.1) Gecko/20021003
Description of problem:
Many man pages are properly dispayed in the alphanumeric console.
When the X system is used (Konsole in KDE or Gnome terminal) many man pages are
not correectly displayed.
Hyphens are shown as small squares or small squares superimposed to unreadable
characters. This is due to the fact that the hyphens are replaced by three
character sequences; each character belonging to said sequences is higher than
127 (i.e. with heavy bit set to one). If the man page output is redirected to
a file and the file is printed hyphens are replaced by strange characters like
"a with circumflex hyphens", "euro signs" etc.
An example is the efax man page. A text file obtained by redirecting the man
page output is attached. Command : man efax > efax_man.txt
Version-Release number of selected component (if applicable):
Steps to Reproduce:
1.open a Konsole terminal from KDE desktop
2.issue the command : man efax
3.read the output on the Konsole terminal
efax is only an example many man page show the same behaviour
Actual Results: Hyphens are replaced by small squares or small squares
superimposed to small squares. When the man page output is printed characters
like euro sign and "a with circumflex accent" replace the hyphens.
Expected Results: Hyphens should have been displayed, as happens when the
alphanumeric console is used (no X system)
RH 8.0 Linux, installed on a Dell Latitude C800 laptop. System and application
are fully updated by the RH update agent. No different behaviour with the old
kernel, included in the distribution CDs.
Created attachment 88802 [details]
file obtained by redirecting efax man page output to file
this is only an example; many man pages other than efax contain three character
sequences instead of hyphens. The characters in said sequences are higher than
In the problem description the words "a with cicumflex hyphen" must be replaced
by "a with circumflex accent" . I apologize for this "description bug".
Hyphens are replaced by strange characters also when xman is used instead of
man. Other punctuation signs are not properly displayed in xman.
There needs to be the "weird characters because of UTF8 default problem" bug to
tie this into (and the plethora of other already filed bugs that are solved by
LANG=en_US or LANG=C".
The LANG=en_US setting fixes the bug. As suggested by Michael Lee Yohe the cause
of the man pages bug is the default setting LANG=en_US.UTF-8 .
The bug in xman has probably nothing to do with the described man pages bug.
Looking more carefully to it I have seen that the weird characters of xman
output do not replace the hyphen, but they are just added to paragraph titles.
I will query for this bug and, possibly, file another bug report about xman.
Thanks to Michael Lee Yohe for the help.
I wonder whether the valid solution suggested by Michael for the man page
malfunction is to be considered a bug fix or a bug workaround and, consequently,
whether I should close the bug, classifying it as NOTABUG.
*** Bug 80931 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Setting the LANG variable to en_US in every opened X console is quite annoying;
the environment is set for the whole X environment and putting "export
LANG=en_us" in .bash_profile or .bashrc is therefore useless. After a quite long
trial and error process I have eventually found the way to perform a system-wide
setting of the LANG variable. I have found that the script
/etc/profile.d/lang.sh uses the /etc/sysconfig/i18n file, in order to set the
$LANG variable.I opened the above mentioned file and I could read, in the first
line, the definition LANG="en_US.UTF-8".I modified the script, so that the
definition is now LANG="en_US"; I have also removed the reference to en_US.UTF-8
in the supported languages list in the second line of the file.
I am now sure that the mentioned XMAN bug has nothing to do with this UTF-8 bug.
After the system-wide setting of LANG, the xman bug is still there!
*** Bug 82598 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Since for most commands the user must actually enter a hyphen (minus sign) on
the command line, the man command should not be altering it under ANY
language. That is to say, an exact cut and paste should work on all systems --
and the character to be pasted is a hypen.
*** Bug 86607 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Here is a gentle workaround for tcsh users that does not change any
other properties of an installed system:
In ~/.tcshrc, add the following code:
if (-f /etc/redhat-release) then
if ("`cat /etc/redhat-release`" =~ 'Red Hat Linux release '8.0*) then
alias man env LANG=en_US man
thanks for the workaround. It can't be used, obviously, as Red Hat Linux isn't
just for American English speaking users.
closing as current Unicode releases fix this problem, and non-Unicode
releases are end-of-lifed by the end of the month