Difference between revisions of "Locale"

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[[Category:Internationalization]]
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[[Category:Localization]]
 
[[ar:Locale]]
 
[[ar:Locale]]
 
[[cs:Locale]]
 
[[cs:Locale]]
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[[ko:Locale]]
 
[[ko:Locale]]
 
[[nl:Locale]]
 
[[nl:Locale]]
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[[pt:Locale]]
 
[[ru:Locale]]
 
[[ru:Locale]]
[[uk:Locale]]
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[[zh-hans:Locale]]
[[zh-CN:Locale]]
 
 
{{Related articles start}}
 
{{Related articles start}}
 
{{Related|Environment variables}}
 
{{Related|Environment variables}}
 
{{Related articles end}}
 
{{Related articles end}}
Locales are used by {{Pkg|glibc}} and other locale-aware programs or libraries for rendering text, correctly displaying regional monetary values, time and date formats, alphabetic idiosyncrasies, and other locale-specific standards.
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[[w:Locale (computer software)|Locales]] are used by {{Pkg|glibc}} and other locale-aware programs or libraries for rendering text, correctly displaying regional monetary values, time and date formats, alphabetic idiosyncrasies, and other locale-specific standards.
  
 
== Generating locales ==
 
== Generating locales ==
  
Before a locale can be enabled on the system, it has to be generated. The current generated/available locales can be viewed with:
+
Locale names are typically of the form {{ic|language[_territory][.codeset][@modifier]}}, where ''language'' is an [[w:List_of_ISO_639-1_codes|ISO 639 language code]], ''territory'' is an [[w:ISO_3166-1#Current_codes|ISO 3166 country code]], and ''codeset'' is a [[w:Character_encoding|character set]] or encoding identifier like [[w:ISO/IEC_8859-1|ISO-8859-1]] or [[w:UTF-8|UTF-8]]. See {{man|3|setlocale}}.
 +
 
 +
For a list of enabled locales, run:
  
 
  $ locale -a
 
  $ locale -a
  
The locales that can be generated are listed in the {{ic|/etc/locale.gen}} file: their names are defined using the format {{ic|[language][_TERRITORY][.CODESET][@modifier]}}. To generate a locale, first uncomment the corresponding line in the file (or comment to remove); when doing this, also consider localizations needed by other users on the system and specific [[#Variables]]. For example, for American-English uncomment {{ic|en_US.UTF-8 UTF-8}}.
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Before a locale can be enabled on the system, it must be generated. This can be achieved by uncommenting applicable entries in {{ic|/etc/locale.gen}}, and running ''locale-gen''. Equivalently, commenting entries disables their respective locales. While making changes, consider any localisations required by other users on the system, as well as specific [[#Variables]].
 +
 
 +
For example, uncomment {{ic|en_US.UTF-8 UTF-8}} for American-English:
  
 
{{hc|/etc/locale.gen|
 
{{hc|/etc/locale.gen|
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}}
 
}}
  
When done, save the file and generate the uncommented locale(s) by executing:
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Save the file, and generate the locale:
  
 
  # locale-gen
 
  # locale-gen
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{{Note|1=<nowiki></nowiki>
 
{{Note|1=<nowiki></nowiki>
 
* {{ic|locale-gen}} also runs with every update of {{Pkg|glibc}}. [https://projects.archlinux.org/svntogit/packages.git/tree/trunk/glibc.install?h=packages/glibc#n5]
 
* {{ic|locale-gen}} also runs with every update of {{Pkg|glibc}}. [https://projects.archlinux.org/svntogit/packages.git/tree/trunk/glibc.install?h=packages/glibc#n5]
* {{ic|UTF-8}} is recommended over other options. [http://utf8everywhere.org/]}}
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* {{ic|UTF-8}} is recommended over other character sets. [http://utf8everywhere.org/]}}
  
 
== Setting the locale ==
 
== Setting the locale ==
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  $ locale
 
  $ locale
  
The locale to be used, chosen among the previously generated ones, is set in {{ic|locale.conf}} files, each of which must contain a new-line separated list of environment variable assignments having the same format as output by ''locale''.
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The locale to be used, chosen among the previously generated ones, is set in {{ic|locale.conf}} files. Each of these files must contain a new-line separated list of [[environment variable]] assignments, having the same format as output by ''locale''.
 +
 
 +
To list available locales which have been previously generated, run:
  
To list available locales that can be used which have been previously generated do:
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$ localedef --list-archive
 +
 
 +
Alternatively, using {{man|1|localectl}}:
  
 
  $ localectl list-locales
 
  $ localectl list-locales
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=== Setting the system locale ===
 
=== Setting the system locale ===
  
To set the system locale use the ''localectl'' command, where ''en_US.UTF-8'' is from the '''first column''' of an uncommented entry in {{ic|/etc/locale.gen}}.
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To set the system locale, write the {{ic|LANG}} variable to {{ic|/etc/locale.conf}}, where {{ic|''en_US.UTF-8''}} belongs to the '''first column''' of an uncommented entry in {{ic|/etc/locale.gen}}:
 
 
# localectl set-locale LANG=''en_US.UTF-8''
 
 
 
{{Note|''localectl'' cannot be used to set the system locale in the installation chroot environment. {{ic|/etc/locale.conf}} must be edited manually as follows.}}
 
 
 
Alternatively, manually [[edit]] or [[create]] {{ic|/etc/locale.conf}}:
 
  
 
{{hc|1=/etc/locale.conf|2=
 
{{hc|1=/etc/locale.conf|2=
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}}
 
}}
  
See [[#Variables]], {{man|5|locale.conf}} and related for details.
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Alternatively, run:
 +
 
 +
# localectl set-locale LANG=''en_US.UTF-8''
 +
 
 +
See [[#Variables]] and {{man|5|locale.conf}} for details.
  
 
=== Overriding system locale per user session ===
 
=== Overriding system locale per user session ===
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Once system and user {{ic|locale.conf}} files have been created or edited, their new values will take effect for new sessions at login. To have the current environment use the new settings unset {{ic|LANG}} and source {{ic|/etc/profile.d/locale.sh}}:
 
Once system and user {{ic|locale.conf}} files have been created or edited, their new values will take effect for new sessions at login. To have the current environment use the new settings unset {{ic|LANG}} and source {{ic|/etc/profile.d/locale.sh}}:
  
  $ LANG= source /etc/profile.d/locale.sh
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  $ unset LANG
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$ source /etc/profile.d/locale.sh
  
 
{{Note|The {{ic|LANG}} variable has to be unset first, otherwise {{ic|locale.sh}} will not update the values from {{ic|locale.conf}}. Only new and changed variables will be updated; variables removed from {{ic|locale.conf}} will still be set in the session.}}
 
{{Note|The {{ic|LANG}} variable has to be unset first, otherwise {{ic|locale.sh}} will not update the values from {{ic|locale.conf}}. Only new and changed variables will be updated; variables removed from {{ic|locale.conf}} will still be set in the session.}}
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=== LANGUAGE: fallback locales ===
 
=== LANGUAGE: fallback locales ===
  
Programs which use gettext for translations respect the {{Ic|LANGUAGE}} option in addition to the usual variables. This allows users to specify a [http://www.gnu.org/software/gettext/manual/gettext.html#The-LANGUAGE-variable list] of locales that will be used in that order. If a translation for the preferred locale is unavailable, another from a similar locale will be used instead of the default. For example, an Australian user might want to fall back to British rather than US spelling:
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Programs which use {{Pkg|gettext}} for translations respect the {{Ic|LANGUAGE}} option in addition to the usual variables. This allows users to specify a [http://www.gnu.org/software/gettext/manual/gettext.html#The-LANGUAGE-variable list] of locales that will be used in that order. If a translation for the preferred locale is unavailable, another from a similar locale will be used instead of the default. For example, an Australian user might want to fall back to British rather than US spelling:
  
 
{{hc|locale.conf|2=
 
{{hc|locale.conf|2=
LANG=en_AU
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LANG=en_AU.UTF-8
 
LANGUAGE=en_AU:en_GB:en
 
LANGUAGE=en_AU:en_GB:en
 
}}
 
}}
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LC_TIME=en_DK.UTF-8
 
LC_TIME=en_DK.UTF-8
 
}}
 
}}
 +
 +
{{Note|Programs do not necessarily respect this variable to format the date. For example, {{man|1|date}} uses its own parameters to do so.}}
  
 
=== LC_COLLATE: collation ===
 
=== LC_COLLATE: collation ===
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The locale set for this variable will always override {{ic|LANG}} and all the other {{ic|LC_*}} variables, whether they are set or not.  
 
The locale set for this variable will always override {{ic|LANG}} and all the other {{ic|LC_*}} variables, whether they are set or not.  
  
{{ic|LC_ALL}} is the only {{ic|LC_*}} variable, which '''cannot''' be set in {{ic|locale.conf}} files: it is meant to be used only for testing or troubleshooting purposes, for example in {{ic|/etc/profile}}.
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{{ic|LC_ALL}} is the only {{ic|LC_*}} variable which '''cannot''' be set in {{ic|locale.conf}} files: it is meant to be used only for testing or troubleshooting purposes, for example in {{ic|/etc/profile}}.
  
 
== Troubleshooting ==
 
== Troubleshooting ==
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* [[termite]]
 
* [[termite]]
 
* [[List_of_applications/Utilities#VTE-based|VTE-based terminals]]
 
* [[List_of_applications/Utilities#VTE-based|VTE-based terminals]]
* [[xterm]] - Must be run with the argument {{ic|-u8}}. Alternatively run ''uxterm'', which is provided by the package {{Pkg|xterm}}.
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* [[xterm]] - Run with the argument {{ic|-u8}} or configure resource {{ic|xterm*utf8: 2}}.
  
==== Gnome-terminal or rxvt-unicode does not support UTF-8 ====
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==== Gnome-terminal or rxvt-unicode ====
  
 
You need to launch these applications from a UTF-8 locale or they will drop UTF-8 support.  Enable the {{ic|en_US.UTF-8}} locale (or your local UTF-8 alternative) per the instructions above and set it as the default locale, then reboot.
 
You need to launch these applications from a UTF-8 locale or they will drop UTF-8 support.  Enable the {{ic|en_US.UTF-8}} locale (or your local UTF-8 alternative) per the instructions above and set it as the default locale, then reboot.
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It is possible that the environment variables are redefined in other files than {{ic|locale.conf}}, for example {{ic|~/.pam_environment}}. See [[Environment variables#Defining variables]] for details.
 
It is possible that the environment variables are redefined in other files than {{ic|locale.conf}}, for example {{ic|~/.pam_environment}}. See [[Environment variables#Defining variables]] for details.
 +
 +
If you are using a desktop environment, such as [[GNOME]], its language settings may be overriding the settings in {{ic|locale.conf}}.
 +
 +
[[KDE]] Plasma also allows to change the UI's language through the system settings. If the desktop environment is still using the default language after the modification, [https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?pid=1435219#p1435219 deleting the file at] {{ic|~/.config/plasma-localerc}} (previously: {{ic|~/.config/plasma-locale-settings.sh}}) should resolve the issue.
  
 
== See also ==
 
== See also ==
  
* [http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/guide-localization.xml Gentoo Linux Localization Guide]
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* [[Gentoo:Localization/Guide]]
* [http://www.gentoo-wiki.info/Locales Gentoo Wiki Archives: Locales]
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* [http://wikigentoo.ksiezyc.pl/Locales.htm Supposedly 2008, or earlier, Gentoo wiki article]
 
* [http://demo.icu-project.org/icu-bin/locexp?_=en_US&x=col ICU's interactive collation testing]
 
* [http://demo.icu-project.org/icu-bin/locexp?_=en_US&x=col ICU's interactive collation testing]
 
* [http://www.openi18n.org/ Free Standards Group Open Internationalisation Initiative]
 
* [http://www.openi18n.org/ Free Standards Group Open Internationalisation Initiative]
 
* [http://pubs.opengroup.org/onlinepubs/007908799/xbd/locale.html ''The Single UNIX Specification'' definition of Locale] by The Open Group
 
* [http://pubs.opengroup.org/onlinepubs/007908799/xbd/locale.html ''The Single UNIX Specification'' definition of Locale] by The Open Group
 
* [https://help.ubuntu.com/community/EnvironmentVariables#Locale_setting_variables Locale environment variables]
 
* [https://help.ubuntu.com/community/EnvironmentVariables#Locale_setting_variables Locale environment variables]

Latest revision as of 08:42, 6 March 2019

Locales are used by glibc and other locale-aware programs or libraries for rendering text, correctly displaying regional monetary values, time and date formats, alphabetic idiosyncrasies, and other locale-specific standards.

Generating locales

Locale names are typically of the form language[_territory][.codeset][@modifier], where language is an ISO 639 language code, territory is an ISO 3166 country code, and codeset is a character set or encoding identifier like ISO-8859-1 or UTF-8. See setlocale(3).

For a list of enabled locales, run:

$ locale -a

Before a locale can be enabled on the system, it must be generated. This can be achieved by uncommenting applicable entries in /etc/locale.gen, and running locale-gen. Equivalently, commenting entries disables their respective locales. While making changes, consider any localisations required by other users on the system, as well as specific #Variables.

For example, uncomment en_US.UTF-8 UTF-8 for American-English:

/etc/locale.gen
...
#en_SG ISO-8859-1
en_US.UTF-8 UTF-8
#en_US ISO-8859-1
...

Save the file, and generate the locale:

# locale-gen
Note:
  • locale-gen also runs with every update of glibc. [1]
  • UTF-8 is recommended over other character sets. [2]

Setting the locale

To display the currently set locale and its related environmental settings, type:

$ locale

The locale to be used, chosen among the previously generated ones, is set in locale.conf files. Each of these files must contain a new-line separated list of environment variable assignments, having the same format as output by locale.

To list available locales which have been previously generated, run:

$ localedef --list-archive

Alternatively, using localectl(1):

$ localectl list-locales

Setting the system locale

To set the system locale, write the LANG variable to /etc/locale.conf, where en_US.UTF-8 belongs to the first column of an uncommented entry in /etc/locale.gen:

/etc/locale.conf
LANG=en_US.UTF-8

Alternatively, run:

# localectl set-locale LANG=en_US.UTF-8

See #Variables and locale.conf(5) for details.

Overriding system locale per user session

The system-wide locale can be overridden in each user session by creating or editing ~/.config/locale.conf (or, in general, $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/locale.conf or $HOME/.config/locale.conf).

The precedence of these locale.conf files is defined in /etc/profile.d/locale.sh.

Tip:
  • This can also allow keeping the logs in /var/log in English while using the local language in the user environment.
  • You can create a /etc/skel/.config/locale.conf file so that any new users added using useradd and the -m option will have ~/.config/locale.conf automatically generated.

Make locale changes immediate

Once system and user locale.conf files have been created or edited, their new values will take effect for new sessions at login. To have the current environment use the new settings unset LANG and source /etc/profile.d/locale.sh:

$ unset LANG
$ source /etc/profile.d/locale.sh
Note: The LANG variable has to be unset first, otherwise locale.sh will not update the values from locale.conf. Only new and changed variables will be updated; variables removed from locale.conf will still be set in the session.

Other uses

Locale variables can also be defined with the standard methods as explained in Environment variables.

For example, in order to test or debug a particular application during development, it could be launched with something like:

$ LANG=C ./my_application.sh

Similarly, to set the locale for all processes run from the current shell (for example, during system installation):

$ export LANG=C

Variables

locale.conf files support the following environment variables:

  • LANG
  • LANGUAGE
  • LC_ADDRESS
  • LC_COLLATE
  • LC_CTYPE
  • LC_IDENTIFICATION
  • LC_MEASUREMENT
  • LC_MESSAGES
  • LC_MONETARY
  • LC_NAME
  • LC_NUMERIC
  • LC_PAPER
  • LC_TELEPHONE
  • LC_TIME

Full meaning of the above LC_* variables can be found on manpage locale(7), whereas details of their definition are described on locale(5).

LANG: default locale

The locale set for this variable will be used for all the LC_* variables that are not explicitly set.

LANGUAGE: fallback locales

Programs which use gettext for translations respect the LANGUAGE option in addition to the usual variables. This allows users to specify a list of locales that will be used in that order. If a translation for the preferred locale is unavailable, another from a similar locale will be used instead of the default. For example, an Australian user might want to fall back to British rather than US spelling:

locale.conf
LANG=en_AU.UTF-8
LANGUAGE=en_AU:en_GB:en

LC_TIME: date and time format

If LC_TIME is set to en_US.UTF-8, for example, the date format will be "MM/DD/YYYY". If wanting to use the the ISO 8601 date format of "YYYY-MM-DD" use:

locale.conf
LC_TIME=en_DK.UTF-8
Note: Programs do not necessarily respect this variable to format the date. For example, date(1) uses its own parameters to do so.

LC_COLLATE: collation

This variable governs the collation rules used for sorting and regular expressions.

Setting the value to C can for example make the ls command sort dotfiles first, followed by uppercase and lowercase filenames:

locale.conf
LC_COLLATE=C

See also [3].

To get around potential issues, Arch used to set LC_COLLATE=C in /etc/profile, but this method is now deprecated.

LC_ALL: troubleshooting

The locale set for this variable will always override LANG and all the other LC_* variables, whether they are set or not.

LC_ALL is the only LC_* variable which cannot be set in locale.conf files: it is meant to be used only for testing or troubleshooting purposes, for example in /etc/profile.

Troubleshooting

My terminal does not support UTF-8

The following lists some (not all) terminals that support UTF-8:

Gnome-terminal or rxvt-unicode

You need to launch these applications from a UTF-8 locale or they will drop UTF-8 support. Enable the en_US.UTF-8 locale (or your local UTF-8 alternative) per the instructions above and set it as the default locale, then reboot.

My system is still using wrong language

It is possible that the environment variables are redefined in other files than locale.conf, for example ~/.pam_environment. See Environment variables#Defining variables for details.

If you are using a desktop environment, such as GNOME, its language settings may be overriding the settings in locale.conf.

KDE Plasma also allows to change the UI's language through the system settings. If the desktop environment is still using the default language after the modification, deleting the file at ~/.config/plasma-localerc (previously: ~/.config/plasma-locale-settings.sh) should resolve the issue.

See also