Getting ÆØÅ to Work in mutt / putty

After reinstalling the server (see the previous post), mutt didn’t show the norwegian letters ÆØÅ properly any longer (.. and yes, I use mutt to read my E-mails. Nothing else comes close.) .. The issue was apparently related to the settings for the current locale, but a quick check showed things to be perfectly valid (.. although not UTF-8, but that’s another issue):

mats@computer:~$ locale
LANG=nb_NO.iso88591
LC_CTYPE="nb_NO.iso88591"
LC_NUMERIC="nb_NO.iso88591"
LC_TIME="nb_NO.iso88591"
LC_COLLATE="nb_NO.iso88591"
LC_MONETARY="nb_NO.iso88591"
LC_MESSAGES="nb_NO.iso88591"
LC_PAPER="nb_NO.iso88591"
LC_NAME="nb_NO.iso88591"
LC_ADDRESS="nb_NO.iso88591"
LC_TELEPHONE="nb_NO.iso88591"
LC_MEASUREMENT="nb_NO.iso88591"
LC_IDENTIFICATION="nb_NO.iso88591"

Why didn’t mutt show the proper letters then? Everything seems to be OK .. Instead, it just kept showing “?” where either of ÆØÅ should be.

Well, the settings are one thing, but if the locale itself isn’t available, things ain’t gonna be any better. So let’s fix that:

apt-get install locale-all

And .. well, at least we have the locale available now, but before we can use it, we need to generate the binary version. Find /etc/locale.gen and open the file in a suitable editor.

Find the line for the locale you’re using and uncomment it:

# nb_NO ISO-8859-1
# nb_NO.UTF-8 UTF-8

becomes:

nb_NO ISO-8859-1
nb_NO.UTF-8 UTF-8

Then run ‘locale-gen’ as root. Wait a few seconds and the locales will be generated. Run mutt. Be happy.

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