German Umlaut on Debian Console

To get Debian to correctly display german Umlauts (äöü) in a console install the following packages:

aptitude install console-setup ncurses-term language-env

I am not sure if you really need ncurses-term und language-env but i won’t hurt.

When you configure console-setup use the standard options press enter. Then issue the following command

dpkg-reconfigure console-setup

Edit  /root/.bashrc and /etc/profileand add the following line.

export LC_ALL="de_DE.UTF-8"

The reconfigure your locales with:

dpkg-reconfigure locales

And make sure you tick all boxes with:


Then logout or reboot you system and enjoy your umlaut. This howto should also work for other languages. Just change de_DE for you locales.

Thanks for the original german howto goes to:


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