3.6.  Needed characters

This step is optional for languages that can only be rendered with the graphical version of Debian Installer (languages in category 4 at the previous step).

The language coordinator must provide a file containing all characters needed for properly displaying the language, not including characters which are part of the ASCII character set (characters in the 32-127 range). This file will be used by the font reduction mechanism (the UTF-8 font used in Debian Installer is reduced for size constraints) and is needed for all Latin languages and all non-Latin languages with reasonably sized alphabet.

It is allowed to add characters that can be entered directly using a "standard" keyboard for the language and are printed on the tops of keys, for example as displayed on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keymap. This includes characters accessible through AltGr and characters that can be created using dead keys.

Below is an example of the contents of this file for a Latin language, namely French:


For this step to be completed, the new file must have been committed in the installer/built/needed-characters directory. The file name must be the ISO 639-3 language code with .utf as extension.

As long as the language remains a prospective language, that file should be named after the language's ISO 639-3 code and the .prospective file extension. The extension will be changed to .utf when the language is completely supported.

The Debian Installer i18n coordinators will record this information in the supported languages list by changing the nlp_step field value to needed_characters.

For font switch support in the bare Linux console, the language coordinator must also provide which console-setup font should be used, to be recorded in its debian/font-switch script.