Euro Character Support Mini HOWTO

Ari Mäkelä

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Revision History
Revision v1.0.2 2002-04-06 Revised by: am
Added the info that emacs support is read-only and removed the question about how the support works.
Revision v1.0.1 2002-03-03 Revised by: am
Cent: added comment that cent is not usually used. More Euro links. Added information on KDE and Gnome.
Revision v1.0.0 2001-09-29 Revised by: am
Original release


This document describes how to make the Euro character support in GNU/Linux work. Finnish users might be interested to consult the Finnish HOWTO which is written in Finnish.

2. The Euro Character

The new character set, ISO-8859-15 which is also known as latin9 and in order to maximize confusion as latin0, was created to replace ISO-8859-1 (latin1) and it includes the euro character.

The Euro is mapped to AltGr-e and the cent - if it is used - is mapped to AltGr-Shift-e in X and on AltGr-c on console.

The Euro Mini HOWTO was written on a Debian system and the set up works on Debian 3.0 (Debian testing as the time of writing).

4. The Euro and the Console

Check that the file /usr/share/keymaps/include/ includes lines

altgr keycode  18 = currency
altgr keycode  46 = cent

A console font, which suppports euro, must be loaded. Red Hat uses command setfont and Debian uses command consolechars.

In Debian the file /etc/console-tools/config must have ISO-8859-15 screen font:


In Red Hat the file /etc/sysconfig/i18n must have lines


5. The Euro in the X Window System

With default configuration AltGr-e (the right Alt for those who have no AltGr) produces the generic currency symbol which looks like a four legged spider. When the font of the program is changed to a ISO-8859-15 font the currency symbol is replaced by the Euro symbol. In Debian this can be achieved by adding line

     .XTerm.VT100.font: -jmk-neep alt-medium-r-*-*-*-120-*-*-*-*-iso8859-15

to the file /etc/X11/app-defaults/XTerm. The fonts available in distributions and installations vary.

If AltGr-e does not work add line

   keycode 26 = e E EuroSign

to the file /etc/X11/Xmodmap

5.2. GTK and Gnome

Change the font setting in Gnome Control Center to ISO-8859-15.

A better way of doing this is changing the system wide GTK+ configuration with commands

cd /etc/gtk
ln -s gtkrc.iso-8859-15 gtkrc

6. Emacs

Emacsen 21 and newer have partial euro support. The following elisp should work:

      'default '"-*-courier-medium-r-*-*-*-120-*-*-*-*-iso8859-15")

Note that you cannot write Euro characters. You can only see them.



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