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Setting up Unicode support for PuTTY

Submitted by Druss on Tue, 2011-09-27 23:34

I work extensively on a Windows desktop. However, I do SSH into Linux servers often and I do so using PuTTY, a free and open source client. Everything works peachy. However, I recently had occasion to work extensively with some Unicode source data and I found that there were times when I thought that there were encoding issues with the data as they were not being displayed correctly on my screen. It turns out that there was really nothing wrong with the data and that it was PuTTY was misinterpreting the data to be in the wrong encoding.

Fixing this is something of a cinch:

  1. In the PuTTY configuration window, load the saved session that you use to connect to the server.
  2. In the Category options tree on the left, choose Translation within the Windows branch.
  3. Within, set the option Received data assumed to be in which character set to UTF-8 (in my case).
  4. Go back to the Session category and click on the Save button to save our changes to the currently loaded session.
  5. To do this within a live session, right click on the PuTTY title bar and choose Change settings which should allow you to do the same.

This problem also affects other Windows terminals including cmd.exe. From what I've read, the fix for cmd.exe is to use the chcp command to change the active code page. Type chcp /? for more information.

Hope this helps!