CONSOLECHARS(8)        Linux User's Manual        CONSOLECHARS(8)

       consolechars  -  load EGA/VGA console screen font, screen-
       font map, and/or application-charset map.

       consolechars  [-v|--verbose]  [-V|--version]   [-h|--help]
       [-1|--g1]   [-n|--no-act]   [--force-no-sfm]   [-H|--char-
       height=N] [--tty=device] [-m|--acm=|--app-charset-map=acm]
       [-M|--old-acm=acm.orig]   [-f|]  [-F|--old-
       font=font.orig]  [--old-font-raw=font.orig]   [--old-font-
       psf-with-sfm=font.orig.psf] [--old-font-psf=font.orig.psf]
       [-u|--sfm=|--screen-font-map=sfm]  [-U|--old-sfm=sfm.orig]

       The  consolechars  command  loads  a font into the EGA/VGA
       character generator, and optionally outputs  the  previous
       font.  This  command  reads  an 8xH font from the file and
       loads it into the character generator memory. Usually  the
       font size H will be read from the file, but some file-for-
       mats do not contain enough  information  for  this,  espe-
       cially  the  raw file format, which only contains the font
       bitmaps. In this case, H will be computed  from  the  file
       size,  which implies these files cannot be compressed.  If
       the input file has codepage format, containing  the  three
       fonts  8x8,  8x14 and 8x16, one of the options -H 8, -H 14
       or -H 16 must be used to select one.  Codepage  format  is
       also recognized by size, and cannot be compressed.

       As  currently  there  is  no mode switching support in the
       Linux kernel, consolechars has nothing to do with the cur-
       rent  EGA/VGA  mode. It's totally user's responsibility to
       choose a font matching the current video mode.

       -h --help
              Display a short help message and exit.

       -V --version
              Display version-number and exit.

       -v --verbose
              Display on stderr informations on what's going  on.

       -n --no_act
              Do  not change the console state; do not write any-
              thing to any file. Implies --verbose.

       -1 --g1
              Activate the G1 charset instead of G0 (see  --acm).

              Use device as console device for ioctls, instead of
              guessing which one to use,  which  usually  chooses
              the  current  tty.   This can be useful for testing
              when under X, in conjunction with --no-act - actual
              ioctls are refused for some reason then.

       -f --font=file
              The  font  file  is  a  file containing the bitmap-
              description (glyph) of characters. Since fonts  may
              contain  the  glyphs  for arbitrary character-sets,
              knowledge about these characters may come either in
              the  font-file  (eg.  in PSF files), or in separate
              screen-font-map files (see --sfm option).

              Font-files can be compressed with gzip(1)  or  com-
              press(1),  with  the  exception of raw and codepage

              Raw font files  are  binary  files  of  size  256*H
              bytes,  containing bit images for each of 256 char-
              acters, one byte per scan line,  and  H  bytes  per
              character  (0  <  H  <= 32); H is computed from the
              file-size, thus  raw  font  files  cannot  be  com-
              pressed. The other font-formats are described else-

       -d --default-font
              Load a default font. The -H option can be given  to
              force a given char-height.

       -m --acm --app-charset-map=file
              Load a user-defined Application-Charset Map (ACM) -
              save current ACM.
              The mapping  from  8-bit  characters  sent  to  the
              screen  into  Unicode (UCS2) characters by the run-
              ning application is described by an  ACM  (formerly
              called  screen  map).   This  map characterizes the
              8-bit encoding used by the application,  hence  its
              new  name.  If  no  ACM is provided using the --acm
              option, the trivial map is assumed. Unless the --g1
              option   in  specified,  the  G0  charset  is  then
              selected, and set to use the ACM just  loaded.   If
              --g1  is  specified, the G1 charset is used instead
              of G0.

              There are 2 types of ACM's recognized by the  --acm
              option,  which  can be fed in binary or ASCII form.
              Binary maps are checked by  size,  and  contain  an
              array  of  256 bytes (old style 8-bit to font-posi-
              tion maps) or 256 unicodes (8-bit  to  UCS2  maps).
              Because  of  this check, you should not compress or
              pipe them.
              In the ASCII format, new  style  (UCS2)  ACM's  are
              composed  of lines of the form `byte unicode' where
              each first byte is the one to map (from the  Appli-
              cation-Charset), in either of the C decimal, octal,
              hex, or character syntaxes for  integers,  and  the
              unicode is formed either with the `U+' prefix and 4
              hex  digits,  or  with  an  UTF8-encoded  character
              enclosed  between  single  quotes; unspecified map-
              pings default to ASCII (identity) for characters in
              the  range  0-127,  and  to 0xFFFD (the replacement
              character) for those in the range 128-255.
              Old style (8-bit) maps in the ASCII format are com-
              posed  of  lines  of the form `byte byte' where the
              first byte has the same meaning as above,  and  the
              second one is the position in the font; unspecified
              mappings default to straight-to-font identity  map-
              An  old-style  mapping is equivalent to a new-style
              mapping where the second byte b would  be  replaced
              by  the unicode U+F000 | b, ie. in the straight-to-
              font zone.  However,  due  to  the  differences  of
              defaults  regarding unspecified mappings, just con-
              verting each mapping individually will not be  suf-
              ficient to get an equivalent ACM.

       -M --old-acm=file
              Saves the previous ACM can be saved to a file.

       -u --sfm --screen-font-map=file
              Load a Screen Font Map (SFM)
              The  correspondance  between Unicode values and the
              glyphs in the curent console-font is described by a
              Screen-Font  Map  (formerly  called Unicode mapping
              table).  Some fonts have a SFM included in the font
              file,  and  an  explicit one can be indicated using
              the --sfm option.  consolechars will  load  such  a
              builtin  SFM,  unless  a  --force-no-sfm  option is
              given.  One may add a  SFM  to  a  psf  font  using

              Prevent  the  loading  of a SFM when loading a font
              containing one.  You should use  this  option  with
              care,  as  you  probably  don't want to have a font
              without a SFM; it could cause trouble.

       -U --old-sfm=file
              Save current SFM into a file.

       -k --sfm-fallback=file
              Use the given file as a SFM fallback table, to sup-
              plement  the SFM. Multiple -k options may be given.

              A fallback table tells, for  some  UCS2  characters
              you're  interested  to  display,  which character's
              glyph it may  use  if  its  own  is  not  available
              according to the SFM in use.

              If  a  SFM  was to be loaded, fallback mappings are
              added to this map before it is loaded. If there was
              not  (ie.  no  --sfm  option  was given, and a font
              without  SFM  was  loaded,  or  the  --force-no-sfm
              option   was   given),  then  the  current  SFM  is
              requested from the kernel, the  the  fallback  map-
              pings are added, and the resulting SFM is loaded.

       -F --old-font=file
              Save  old  font  in the prefered format. It is cur-
              rently the same as  using  --old-font-psf-with-sfm,
              but may change when a better format is supported.

              Save old font in PSF format, with corresponding SFM
              (PSF mode 2 or 3).

              Save old font in PSF format (PSF mode 0 or 1). Usu-
              ally a bad idea.

              Save  old font in RAW format. Usually an even worse

       -H --char-height=N
              When loading a font from  a  codepage  file,  or  a
              default  font,  specify  which font-size to use.  N
              should be a number between 1 and 31.

       consolechars was originally  called  setfont(8),  but  was
       renamed (in version 1997.10.28 of the Linux Console Tools)
       to allow for changing the command-line options while  pro-
       viding  backward compatibility with the old `kbd' package.

       /usr/lib/kbd/consolefonts/ is the  default  directory  for

       /usr/lib/kbd/consoletrans/  is  the  default directory for
       both ACM's and SFM's.

       For implementation reasons, binary ACM's and  ASCII  8-bit
       ACM's  cannot  be compressed nor piped. This is not likely
       to change (except if a good reason is given to  the  main-
       tainer, or a patch is submitted), because I consider these
       formats to be obsolete.

       Eugene G. Crosser <>
       Andries E. Brouwer <>
       Extended by Yann Dirson <>

       psfaddtable(1), psfstriptable(1).

Console tools              31 Oct 1997                          1