In general, ColdFusion MX gets its default encoding type from the operating system that it's installed on. Overriding, changing or checking this variable may be necessary if the characters displayed in the browser are not correct; for example, if Japanese characters should be displayed, but binary characters are displayed in their place. This type of scenario may occur after migrating an internationalized application to a new machine, such as moving from Red Hat Linux 7.2 server to Red Hat Linux AS 3.0 server.
Certain CFML tags can override the default encoding type, such as cfprocessingdirective or any tags that specifically provide the charset attribute, such ascffile. For more information on these tags, see the Developing Globalized Applications chapter on LiveDocs.
In some cases, it may be preferred to change the default encoding type at the operating system level. With Unix servers, the default encoding type is set by the LANG environment variable. The following instructions provide the information needed to check and modify this variable.