I am quite often using Putty to connect to my server systems. I just recently recognized, while using „tree“, that the character encoding was wrong while connecting to one of the machines.

For instance, when I run „tree“ on the command line, it will look like the following:

seiler@docker:~/dockerfiles$ tree
âââ datacontainer
âââ mysql
âââ nginx
â   âââ Dockerfile
â   âââ index.php
â   âââ nginx.conf
â   âââ start.sh
âââ postgresql
âââ tomcat

You can get the current encoding by calling:

seiler@docker:~/dockerfiles$ echo $LANG

The solution is very simple. When taking a look to the Putty settings, those were set to „ISO-8859-1 : 1998“, which is in fact Latin-1, West Europe.

To get it right, simple choose another character translation.

Putty Settings

Character Encoding in Putty


After re-connecting to your server, it will look like this:

seiler@docker:~$ tree
└── dockerfiles
    ├── datacontainer
    ├── mysql
    ├── nginx
    │   ├── Dockerfile
    │   ├── index.php
    │   ├── nginx.conf
    │   └── start.sh
    ├── postgresql
    └── tomcat

Sometimes there is a really easy solution for problems.