[Koha] Searching UTF-8 entries [Koha]

Krishnan Mani krishnanm75 at yahoo.com
Tue Oct 7 14:27:57 NZDT 2008

Hello HS,

i am not using Zebra, but most of the stuff from my experience below will work regardless:

Hopefully, you followed the install instructions that help ensure the system is setup to use UTF-8 (these appear in more than one of the install guides on kohadocs and elsewhere, for e.g., see INSTALL.fedora7 in the root folder when you unzip koha-3.00.00-stableRC1).

i am quoting only a *snippet* of the install instructions below:
To check, open a terminal window and type the locale.
You must obtain:
LANG = en_GB.UTF-8
1.4.2 The web server Apache 2 is it configured to use UNICODE?

To verify, using a text editor, open the httpd.conf file located
in / etc / httpd / conf and look if it contains the directive:

AddDefaultCharset UTF-8

1.4.3 The MySQL server is it configured to use UNICODE?

NB: mysqld service must be started.
In a Terminal window, type the command mysql, then an SQL
to display variables content server configuration.
Text of query:

show where variable_name variables like 'char%';

Once you have done so, its time to test whether Koha is indeed setup to use UTF-8 well.

Choose to search for and obtain MARC records for books in language scripts that need UTF-8. Thanks to the internet, it is possible to do so even without support for keyboard layouts in that language being available and installed on the system you are using to test Koha.

For e.g.:
1) I shall search for a book in the Hindi language (this uses the Devnagiri script) at the online catalog of Delhi Public Library (

2) To obtain suitable text to search for, i use the Google Indic transliteration online tool
(http://www.google.co.in/transliterate/indic) I enter the word "Kahani" and the tool promptly gives me कहानी in the Hindi script. "Kahani" is the Hindi word for "story", so i guess you should find enough books with this.

3) Sure enough, the OPAC search returns a number of books.

4) i then select a book and choose to download the MARC record for the book, taking care to use a UTF-8 format

5) Import the MARC record into your catalog, and later try searching for it the same way as you performed the search at the Delhi Public Library website.

If this works, i guess you are good to try anything that needs UTF-8. Remember that you need to be careful when transmitting/editing UTF-8 content, that at no point during the entire process, you introduce or try to save data that is not in UTF-8 encoding.

Thanks and regards,

krishnan mani

Pune, India

--- On Tue, 7/10/08, H.S. <hs.samix at gmail.com> wrote:
From: H.S. <hs.samix at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [Koha] Searching UTF-8 entries [Koha]
To: koha at lists.katipo.co.nz
Date: Tuesday, 7 October, 2008, 3:06 AM

Henri-Damien LAURENT wrote:

> afaict, you are not using icu nor are you using yaz with icu.
> In order to be able to search for utf8 correctly with Yaz and zebra, you
> should embed icu with yaz.
> And use the files I am sending along to configure icu chains.
> Hopes that helps.

I am in the process of setting up Koha for a very small community
library (one to two thousand books). Entering the books data into Koha
has been started but is a very slow process due to limited volunteers.

So, how do I confirm that ICU has been installed on my setup and that
the search is going to support utf-8? Currently, only a few books are in
the catalog and all of them are in English. Search works in those, but
not sure if my installation is utf-8 complaint.

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