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1. Introduction

All European users of almost any operating system have two problems: The first is to tell the computer that you have a non-American keyboard, and the second is to get the computer to display the special characters. To make matters worse some applications will also consider you an exception if you are not an American and require special options or the setting of environment variables.

Under Linux you change the way your computer interprets the keyboard with the commands loadkeys and xmodmap. loadkeys will modify the keyboard for plain Linux while xmodmap makes the modifications necessary when the handshaking between X11 and Linux is imperfect.

To display the characters you need to tell your applications that you use the ISO-8859-1 (a.k.a. Latin-1) international set of glyphs. This is not always necessary, but a number of key applications need special attention.

This HOWTO is intended to tell Danish users how to do this. If you continue to have problems after reading this you can try the German HOWTO, the Linux Keyboard and Console HOWTO or the ISO 8859-1 National Character Set FAQ. Many of the hints contained herein are cribbed from there. See section Other documents of relevance for pointers to these documents. You should also send me a mail describing your problems.

A final problem is that error-messages, menus and documentation of the applications are mostly in English. There is a GNU project under way to address this problem. You can see what it is all about by downloading the file ABOUT-NLS or the package gettext-0.10.tar.gz (or any later version) from your favourite mirror of the GNU archive. This project needs volunteers for the translations. Send a mail to with the body ``subscribe'' if you want to contribute to the Danish part of the project. The documentation in the gettext package describes how to use such translations in your own programs.

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