Tag Archives: Cygwin

Cygwin 1.7 Has Funny Characters on Man Pages in PuTTY

Do you see strange characters on man pages in your Cygwin? After upgrading to Cygwin 1.7, I noticed that the soft hyphens in man pages were replaced with the “รข” character. Somehow, the character set wasn’t right. I remember having to deal with this problem several years ago, but couldn’t recall how I solved it. I found some old messages floating around the web going back at least a decade about setting environment variables, locales and whatnot to cure this. Fortunately, the solution turned out to be easy with the latest Cygwin and PuTTY.

As it turns out, Cygwin 1.7 now defaults to using the UTF-8 character set. PuTTY, at least on my system in the US, defaults to ISO-8859-1, a.k.a Latin-1. So, the fix is as follows:

  1. Open the PuTTY Configuration dialog
  2. Under the Window category, click on Translation
  3. In the “Character set translation on received data” section, select UTF-8 in the drop down list box
  4. Save the configuration

Now man pages look normal again. Of course, if you’ve changed the locale and/or character set in your Cygwin to something other than UTF-8, be sure to set PuTTY’s character set to match.

Are you using a different terminal/ssh program with Cygwin than PuTTY and encountering this? Share the corresponding steps to apply the cure for your terminal emulator in the comments.