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There are three common issues associated with Eggdrop and UTF-8 on modern systems.

Notice: Use at your own risk, as this may not solve all your encoding problems.


Emojis don't appear

Perhaps the most common problem seen today is people attempting to use Unicode emojis (Thumbs up, skull and crossbones, party hats, etc), and incorrectly thinking their Eggdrop does not support any UTF-8 encoding at all. The inability to use Emojis is a result of an issue with Tcl currently (by default) not being able to support Unicode characters with control codes over 3 bytes, which means Tcl cannot handle control codes higher than U+FFFF (More information on this can be found at https://wiki.tcl-lang.org/page/Unicode+and+UTF-8). The remedy for this issue requires you to download a current version of the Tcl source from https://www.tcl.tk/software/tcltk/download.html and manually compile it (this cannot be done by intalling Tcl via a package manager such as apt or yum).

Step 1

Open the generic/tcl.h file in your editor.

Search for

#define TCL_UTF_MAX 3

and replace it with

#define TCL_UTF_MAX 6.

Step 2

Follow the instructions included with the download to compile and install Tcl.

Step 3

You'll need to recompile Eggdrop, and may need to specify --with-tcllib and --with-tclinc to point to the new location you installed Tcl to. A correct ./configure command may look similar to this:

./configure --with-tclinc=/usr/local/include/tcl.h --with-tcllib=/usr/local/lib/libtcl8.6.so

Locale issues

If you're still having issues with UTF-8, on your host machine, type locale. If it looks similar to this, congrats! you have UTF-8 support and Eggdrop should be able to handle non-Emoji unicode characters.


If it does *not* look like that (specifically, the LANG variable does not end in UTF-8, then you can change your locale to one that supports UTF-8, and Eggdrop will pick up on that change. To do this:

Step 1

Visit https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Locale (or a similar page for the OS flavor of your choice). In short, you'll want to view the locales available on your system by running

locale -a

and find the UTF-8 setting that matches your preferred language. Open the /etc/default/locale file in your editor.

Search for


and replace it with


or, obviously, whichever language makes sense to use for you.

Step 2

Recompile Eggdrop.

If you are still having issues after making these changes, re-read the Emojis section.

UTF-8 not found on system

If the locale trick does not work, or you are on a system that does not have a UTF locale pack (or you are unable to install one), you can try to force UTF-8 by doing the following.

Step 1

Open the eggdrop1.8.4/src/tcl.c file in your editor.

Search for (around line 650)

if (encoding == NULL) {
  encoding = "iso8859-1";

and insert the following right after it

encoding = "utf-8";

Step 2

Recompile Eggdrop.


As an alternative to patching your bot with the patch above, you can also use this script.

Known issues

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