SSH Putty and Foreign Accents

by bitznbitez

I was recently working with some French data with the usual accents. The data displayed ok in putty however when the data was loaded into a database, in this case Vertica 5.1, the accents were missing.

The conclusion was the problem was not with the database but rather that the file was not in UTF8 format.  When the file was produced in UTF8 however things did not look right at all.  Instead of ‘Québec’ we were seeing ‘Québec’.   This was seen not only in what we loaded but also in the flat file.

The root cause in this case wasn’t the software producing the data,  it wasn’t the flat file, it wasn’t the database.  The problem was the terminal emulator in use.  It was putty that was not displaying UTF8 correctly.    The flat file was correct and Vertica was loading it correctly.

In putty settings navigate to Window->Translation and look at the “Received data assumed to be in which character set”.   The default is ISO-8859-1: 1998 (Latin-1, West Europe).   By changing this to UTF-8 everything displays fine.

Just in case some netzien ever runs into this and forgets to suspect the terminal emulator.