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How do I use Russian (Cyrillic) characters in UNIX?

Fonts have been installed on the systems with the characters needed to support the three main encodings used for Cyrillic script:

  • koi8-r
  • Windows Codepage 1251
  • iso-8859-5

The simplest way to use these is via the UNIX version of Netscape. Other mechanisms are available, but they are not very intuitive. The fonts have not been installed as part of the default setup.

If you are using an IT Services UNIX workstation, then you should issue the commands:

garibaldi > xset fp+ /usr/local/X11/lib/fonts/Cyrillic
garibaldi > xset fp+ /usr/local/X11/lib/fonts/Cyrillic-1251

If you are using an IT Services XTerminal or a UNIX workstation in another department, then you should issue the command
primrose > xset fp+ tcp/lupin:7102

Either of these commands adds the location where the fonts are stored to the local machines list of places where it "looks" for fonts. To verify that this has worked, run
primrose > xlsfonts | grep "koi8-r" | wc -l

If this has worked, a number greater than 0 will appear in response to this command.

At this point, you can now use Netscape (which will automatically detect the presence of these fonts) to view WWW pages and read electronic mail sent in this encoding. Unless the page has been set up especially, you'll need to change the encoding type of the document to one of the three Cyrillic types available (some experimentation may be necessary, but "koi-8r" is the most commonly encountered encoding.)

There are four faces provided, "Helvetica" and "Times Roman" (which are variable width fonts), along with "Fixed" and "Courier" (which are fixed width, or monospaced, fonts).