UTF-8

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First set the language variables in your /etc/make.conf, so that programms like KDE, Firefox or OpenOffice.org also install their language packs:

File: /etc/make.conf
LINGUAS="de"
LANGUAGE="de"

Now edit /etc/locale.gen so that your glibc generates the right locale:

File: /etc/locale.gen
de_DE.UTF-8 UTF-8

and run

# locale-gen

afterwards.

Then we need to create a new file to set some system-wide environment variables:

File: /etc/env.d/02locale
LANG="de_DE.utf8"
LC_ALL="de_DE.utf8"

and activate it via

# env-update

Now change your keyboard layout:

File: /etc/conf.d/keymaps
keymap="de"

And at last your console font:

File: /etc/conf.d/consolefont
consolefont="lat0-16"