Friday, April 11, 2008

Linux Terminal Support for Indian languages

Listening to Prof.Amba P. Kulkarni talk about the Anusaaraka was a pure delight. It was here I first heard about the old GIST (Graphics and Indian Script Terminal) technology, as a gnu/Linux OS user I asked her if its possible to display Indian Language characters on a Linux virtual terminal, however Prof. Kulkarni didn't have a ready answer.

Its common knowledge that Indian script characters are well supported under X window system, but I didn't find any information on compiling Linux kernel to support a Indian scripts much like the older GIST machines. Please do share information about this issue.


  1. There was a (now long defunct, so defunct that you can't even find a useful link any more) project by some IIT Madras folks to patch the linx terminal driver to display Indian language characters (perhaps keyboard drivers too, unsure. This was for Linux kernel 2.0 or something, IIRC. Yes, that old.)

    The display part is actually doable (upto a limit, on PC platforms at least) since you can modify the character font map with some VGA magic. I vaguely remember doing this with some C+asm on DOS, but the details are lost now. The 8x8 cell isn't much good to display more complex characters.

  2. No, not really. Acharya doesn't host such a project anymore, as far as I can tell.


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