[syslinux] Font for cyrillic letters

ashark at linuxcomp.ru ashark at linuxcomp.ru
Fri Oct 25 19:52:08 PDT 2019

I was trying to make syslinux to display russian letters.

This page https://wiki.syslinux.org/wiki/index.php?title=Directives/font
says that for Cyrillic you need a CP855. Is that correct? All other guides in internet say that you need CP866.

I finally got it working. My config file was encoded in ibm866 correctly, but the problem was the font file itself.
I am on Arch Linux, so I run
gunzip -c /usr/share/kbd/consolefonts/cp866-8x16.psf.gz > cp866-8x16.psf
And Russian text was not displayed correctly.

Then I checked it with "file cp866-8x16.psf" and it was:
cp866-8x16.psf: Linux/i386 PC Screen Font v2 data, 256 characters, no directory, 16x8

In that wiki page it is said that font should be PSF1 format. Here I have found a guide with file attached 866_8x16.psf:

I have downloaded it, and checked with "file 866_8x16.psf":
866_8x16.psf: Linux/i386 PC Screen Font v1 data, 256 characters, Unicode directory, 8x16
And Russian letters were displayed correctly!

But how could I get such file without external blog posts? Is it possible to convert psf2 font to psf1 format?

Also, I have found this question:
and there is a config with russian letters and with using Cyr_a8x16.psf font.
I again used an ungzipped file from Arch Linux, but it did not displayed russian letters. It was again a v2 font "file Cyr_a8x16.psfu":
Cyr_a8x16.psfu: Linux/i386 PC Screen Font v2 data, 256 characters, Unicode directory, 16x8

Were psf1 fonts gone from kbd package, but still required to be used with syslinux?


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