• Ensure that the vt console driver is enabled. See vt(4).
  • Set the LANG and CHARSET environmental variables. For UTF-8 U.S. English in Bourne shell derivatives, add this to one of your shell's startup files:

export CHARSET="UTF-8" export LANG="en_US.UTF-8"

See the FreeBSD Handbook and locale(1) for more information on setting the LANG variable.