Gentoo has two good documents on dealing with UTF8 and localization that should be reviewed.
I decided to set my system wide default away from ANSI to UTF8 as gnome-terminal seems to inherit LANG from XDM and there doesn’t seem to be a way to tell it to ignore LANG and default to UTF8. This is really annoying since most RHEL5.x based distros default to UTF8. Here is a quick little shell snippet to set the locale to US/English/UTF8.
#!/bin/bash cat > /etc/locale.gen <<"END" # /etc/locale.gen: list all of the locales you want to have on your system # # The format of each line: # <locale> <charmap> # # Where is a locale located in /usr/share/i18n/locales/ and # where is a charmap located in /usr/share/i18n/charmaps/. # # All blank lines and lines starting with # are ignored. # # For the default list of supported combinations, see the file: # /usr/share/i18n/SUPPORTED # # Whenever glibc is emerged, the locales listed here will be automatically # rebuilt for you. After updating this file, you can simply run `locale-gen` # yourself instead of re-emerging glibc. en_US.UTF-8 UTF-8 en_US ISO-8859-1 END locale-gen echo "LANG=en_US.utf8" > /etc/env.d/02locale env-update source /etc/profile locale