- /etc/locale.gen is useful for generating only the locales you actually need. I selected English (US and UK), Finnish, and Swedish as UTF-8, ISO-8859-1, and ISO-8859-15 (where appropriate.)
- .bashrc: export LANG=en_US.UTF-8
- Setup .Xdefaults:
Actually the UTF-8 options are not required due to the way I am launching terminals from my window manager, but it does not cause any damage. Black terminal background is mandatory!XTerm*Background: Black XTerm*Foreground: White XTerm*UTF8: 2 XTerm*utf8Fonts: 2
The fun part was figuring out why my xterm, specified in .ratpoisonrc as bind c exec xterm -u8 did not launch a UTF-8 terminal. I then realized that Ratpoison was launching xterm from a bare-metal shell and the LANG environment variable was never set; quickly changing the binding to bind c exec xterm +lc -u8 (switch off automatic selection of encoding and respect my -u8 option) resolved the final issue.
Now I can happily read the ä's, ö's, and Å's from a language I do not understand (excluding a few keywords and phrases.) Cool!