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charmap(5) Linux User Manual charmap(5)
charmap - character symbols to define character encodings
A character set description (charmap) defines a characterset of available characters and
their encodings. All supported character sets should have the portable character set as a
The charmap file starts with a header, that may consist of the following keywords:
is followed by the name of the codeset.
is followed by the max number of bytes for a multibyte-character. Multibyte char-
acters are currently not supported. The default value is 1.
is followed by the min number of bytes for a character. This value must be less or
equal than mb_cur_max. If not specified, it defaults to mb_cur_max.
is followed by a character that should be used as the escape-character for the rest
of the file to mark characters that should be interpreted in a special way. It
defaults to the backslash ( \ ).
is followed by a character that will be used as the comment-character for the rest
of the file. It defaults to the number sign ( # ).
The charmap-definition itself starts with the keyword CHARMAP in column 1.
The following lines may have one of the two following forms to define the character-encod-
<symbolic-name> <encoding> <comments>
This form defines exactly one character and its encoding.
<symbolic-name>...<symbolic-name> <encoding> <comments>
This form defines a couple of characters. This is only useful for mutlibyte-charac-
ters, which are currently not implemented.
The last line in a charmap-definition file must contain END CHARMAP.
A symbolic name for a character contains only characters of the portable character set.
The name itself is enclosed between angle brackets. Characters following an <escape_char>
are interpreted as itself; for example, the sequence '<\\\>>' represents the symbolic name
'\>' enclosed in angle brackets.
The encoding may be in each of the following three forms:
with a decimal number
with a hexadecimal number
with an octal number.
Jochen Hein (email@example.com)
locale(1), localedef(1), setlocale(3), localeconv(3), locale(5)
National Language Support 1994-11-28 charmap(5)
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