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Fixing ‘invalid charset name’ message in Debian

It seems that Debian always finds some way
to have small niggling issues that end up being a major problem if you follow
unstable. Unstable is very good for getting the latest packages prebuilt however
as it is said. It’s unstable.

My latest issue was anytime I used the command man I got the following:

# man man
Reformatting man(1), please wait…
invalid charset name
man: command exited with status 256: /usr/bin/zsoelim /tmp/zmanQKj7sy | /usr/bin/tbl | /usr/bin/nroff -mandoc -rLL=79n -rLT=79n -Tascii8 | iconv -c -f ISO-8859-1 -t EUC-JP | /usr/bin/pager -s

Not exactly what I would call an easy to debug message. After googling I found
a Japanese page that dealt with this
The basic gist of the page is that the default version of less that comes with
Debian will barf if you’re not living in ASCII world. One solution is to go back
to good old more or use jless, which is a version that is happy with

You can do that by running the following commands (as root):

apt-get install jless
update-alternatives –config pager

Debian keeps track of the default pager in its system in /etc/alternatives/pager.
And you need to remember to use update-alternative to get it fixed.
Problems solved and now I can go on happily computing.

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