How to fix Midnight Commander line drawing in PuTTY

Midnight Commander is an awesome little file management tool. Learn how to install Midnight Commander. Folks that remember Norton Commander from MS DOS times know what I’m talking about.

Often problem with using Midnight Commander in PuTTY is that often it’s lines are messed up and look like this:

Midnight Commander in PuTTY with lines now rendered correctly.

This happens when because of charsets mismatch that uses PuTTY uses and MC. To fix this you’ll need to fix the charset in PuTTY. This guide however works only on sessions saved in PuTTY!

Here’s how to do it:

1. Start PuTTY and select the session and click Load button

2. Click on Window > Translation and then in Remote character set select UTF-8 as in the picture below:

MC needs charset in PuTTY to be set to UTF-8

3. Now click back to Session and click Save button

Now your session is saved with the UTF-8 charset settings and from now on every time you use that connection Midnight Commander will render lines nicely and will be much easier to eyes.

Midnight Commander lines rendered correctly in PuTTY

This looks much nicer and hopefully will help you be more productive!

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