charmap(5) -- Linux man page



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 proper subset.  


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 characters 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-encodings:

<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-characters, 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 (  




locale(1), localedef(1), setlocale(3), localeconv(3), locale(5)