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Symptoms

Non-English characters typed into JIRA are displayed as question marks, e.g. umlauts ( ä ) or Asian characters ( 要 ).

Cause

Character encoding used by one of the JIRA components is set to use encoding that doesn't support given characters.

Resolution

  1. Change encoding to -Dfile.encoding=utf-8 to your application startup parameters. See Setting Properties and Options on Startup.
  2. If the database was not created with the utf8 charset:
    1. Append to URL &useUnicode=true&characterEncoding=UTF8 to the database URL in <jira-install>/conf/server.xml.
    2. Recreate a new database with correct encoding CREATE DATABASE jiratest CHARACTER SET utf8;
    3. Point server.xml's database configuration to the new database
    4. Create an XML backup
    5. Restart JIRA
    6. Import the XML backup into your new database
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