Site logo

XMMS Cyrillic mini HowTo


Screenshot of the XMMS window in Cyrillic
Screenshot of the XMMS window in Cyrillic

Here you can find some simple instructions how to set XMMS to display Cyrillic alphabet in the playlist and in the main window.

This page may be usefull for Bulgarians, Serbians, Macedonians, Russians, Ukrainians and other, living abroad and not having a Cyrillized (Russified) Linux system or any other that for some reason cannot have a Cyrillized (Russified) Linux system with the code-page 1251.

After those manipulations all songs with titles in Cyrillic (ID3v1 or ID3v2 tags) will be seen beautifully in Cyrillic. The songs whose titles are in the Latin alphabet are displayed normally.


How to chose a cyrillic font for the playlist

The installation is very easy as most of the configuration tasks in your operating system.

  1. Rigth-click - Options - Preferences
  2. Select the tab Fonts (screenshot).
  3. Uncheck Use fontsets
  4. at "Playlist" press "Browse", a font dialog opens.
  5. Select the tab Filter
  6. Select everywhere "*" except for Charset, where select microsoft-cp1251 (screenshot).
  7. Select the tab Font. Here you can see all fonts that can be used with the code-page 1251. Choose the one you like most and press OK.
  8. Check Use X font
  9. at "Main window" press "Browse", and repeat the selection for font with cp1251.
  10. Press "Apply", "OK" and here you go. Happy listening and watching!

Tested on Knoppix, Fedora Core, Mandrake, Yoper, Mepis, Kanotix.


Please note: You may need to recompile your locales so as that you have at least one locale in CP1251, and start XMMS in that locale. This is done like that:

Debian and other Debian clones (Kanotix, Knoppix)
As root do dpkg-reconfigure locales, in the interface select for example bg_BG.CP1251 and bg_BG.UTF-8, then Ok. Screenshot
Or, in the file /etc/locale.gen add the lines
bg_BG.CP1251 CP1251
bg_BG.UTF-8 UTF-8

and then do locale-gen.
Note that on my Debian Kanotix I don't need to start XMMS in a Bulgarian locale; to see the song titles in Cyrillic I just need to do what I wrote above. The Bulgarian locale (when I do LANGUAGE=bg_BG.cp1251 LC_ALL=bg_BG.cp1251 xmms) gives me the interface (menus and dialog boxes) in Bulgarian language.
Ubuntu, Kubuntu and probably other ubuntus (Mepis 6+...)
Create as root a file /var/lib/locales/supported.d/bg where add these lines:
bg_BG.CP1251 CP1251
bg_BG.UTF-8 UTF-8
bg_BG CP1251

save it and then do as root dpkg-reconfigure locales.
Note that in Ubuntu 6.06 that I tested, I needed to start XMMS in a Bulgarian locale like this: LC_ALL=bg_BG xmms or else the Cyrillic titles were unreadable.
(update: Boian Vatev wrote to me that in Ubuntu 7.10 the command to launch XMMS in Bulgarian language is: env LANGUAGE=bg_BG.cp1251 LC_ALL=bg_BG.cp1251 xmms %U.)
Other distributions
Please read your manuals (man locale...). If you know how to compile a new locale in some other distribution, please tell me and I'll add your tip on this page.


If you lack the option "microsoft-cp1251"

Some people are less lucky and lack the option "microsoft-cp1251". I have no idea why this happens, nor have I experienced such problem. I was told that this may be corrected by adding some cyrillic fonts as is suggested in this Bulgarian article (cache).

Actually, I install the package msttcorefonts which adds some fonts with Cyrillic support.


Problems with a localized interface

The Bulgarian language pack has a problem because it is in the cp1251 encoding, while most modern distributions have the UTF-8 system encoding. All the menus and dialog boxes are unreadable. This may be easily corrected by editing the main menu ( KDE or IceWM) and replace "xmms %U", with "LANGUAGE=bg_BG.cp1251 LC_ALL=bg_BG.cp1251 xmms %U" (%U may be there or not). (Replace bg_BG with ru_RU, uk_UK, sr_SR or whatever language you prefer).

If you wish to have the menus and dialog boxes in English, use the following command line: