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1. Administrativia

1.1 Introduction

This document covers the things you need to successfully work with information containing cyrillic text (mostly Russian) under Linux. Although this document assumes your using Linux as an operating system, most of information presented is equally applicable to many other Unix flavors. I shall try to keep the distinction as visible as possible.

There are a number of popular Linux distributions. As an example system I describe the RedHat 4.1 Linux (Vanderbildt) - the one I am personally using. Nevertheless, I shall try to highlight the differences, if they exist, in other popular distributions, such as Debian GNU/Linux and Slackware Linux.

Since such setup directly modifies and extends the Operating System, you should understand, what you are doing. Even though I tried to keep things as easy as possible, having some experience with a given piece of software is an advantage. I am not going to describe what the X Window System is or how to typeset the documents with TeX and LaTeX, or how to install printer in Linux. Those issues are covered in other documents.

For the same reason, in most cases I describe a system-wide setup, by default requiring root privileges. Still, if there is a possibility for user-level setup, I'll try to mention it.

NOTE: The X Window System, TeX and other Linux components are complex systems with a sofisticated configuration. If you do something wrong, you can not only fail with Russian setup, but to break the component as well, if not the entire system. This is not to scare you off, but merely to make you understand the seriousness of the process and be careful. Preliminary backup of the config files is highly recommended. Having a guru around is also advantageous.

1.2 Availability and feedback

This document is available at or as a part of the Linux Document Project. Also, it may be available at various FTP sites containing Linux. Moreover, it may be included as a part of Linux distribution.

If you have any suggestions or corrections regarding this document, please, don't hesitate to contact me as Any new and useful information about Cyrillic support in various Unices is highly appreciated. Remember, it will help the others.

1.3 Acknowledgments and copyrights

Many people helped me (and not only me) with valuable information and suggestions. Even more people contributed software to the public community. I am sorry if I forgot to mention somebody.

So, here they go:

This document is Copyright (C) 1995,1997 by Alexander L. Belikoff. It may be used and distributed under the usual Linux HOWTO terms described below.

The following is a Linux HOWTO copyright notice:

Unless otherwise stated, Linux HOWTO documents are copyrighted by their respective authors. Linux HOWTO documents may be reproduced and distributed in whole or in part, in any medium physical or electronic, as long as this copyright notice is retained on all copies. Commercial redistribution is allowed and encouraged; however, the author would like to be notified of any such distributions.

All translations, derivative works, or aggregate works incorporating any Linux HOWTO documents must be covered under this copyright notice. That is, you may not produce a derivative work from a HOWTO and impose additional restrictions on its distribution. Exceptions to these rules may be granted under certain conditions; please contact the Linux HOWTO coordinator at the address given below.

In short, we wish to promote dissemination of this information through as many channels as possible. However, we do wish to retain copyright on the HOWTO documents, and would like to be notified of any plans to redistribute the HOWTOs.

If you have questions, please contact Greg Hankins, the Linux HOWTO coordinator, at You may finger this address for phone number and additional contact information.

Unix is a technology trademark of the X/Open Ltd.; MS-DOS, Windows, Windows 95, and Windows NT are trademarks of the Microsoft Corp.; The X Window System is a trademark of The X Consortium Inc. Other trademarks belong to the appropriate holders.

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