Line graphics on Linux console

frank at frank at
Sat Jan 29 11:03:45 EST 2005

Hi all

I don't think this is strictly a Python problem, but as it manifests
itself in one of my Python programs, I am hoping that somebody in this
group can help me.

The following is a message I sent to co.os.linux.setup -

"My question concerns line graphics on a text-based console. ­My
actual problem relates to a [Python] program I have written using
ncurses, b­ut you can easily test it by running a program like

If you call up the minicom menu, it should be surrounded by ­a nice
box made up of horizontal and vertical lines, corners, etc. It used to
work up until Redhat 7. Since upgrading to Redhat 9, and now Fedo­ra,
it (and my program) has stopped working."

I received the following reply from Thomas Dickey -

"That's because Redhat uses UTF-8 locales, and the Linux cons­ole
ignores vt100 line-drawing when it is set for UTF-8.  (screen also
d­oes this).
ncurses checks for $TERM containing "linux" or "screen" (sin­ce
there's no better clues for the breakage) when the encoding is UTF-8­,
and doesn't try to use those escapes (so you would get +'s and -'s).
co­mpiling/linking with libncursesw would get the lines back for a
properly-wri­tten program."

I don't really understand the last sentence. Does anyone know if it is
possible to do this (or anything else) or am I stuck.
TIA for any advice.

Frank Millman

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