Localization deals with all around languages other than US English.

An example shows how names of locals are composed:

ab_CD where ab is your two (or three) letter language code (as specified in ISO-639) and CD is your two letter country code (as specified in ISO-3166).

Locals can be found at /usr/share/locale it is wise to use just the ones being there!

locale prints a list of language relevant variables to the Konsole.


Define all locale settings at once. This is the top level setting for locales which will override any other setting. (can also be empty "LC_ALL= ")


Define alphabetical ordering of strings. This affects e.g. output of sorted directory listing.


Define the character handling properties for the system. This determines which characters are seen as part of alphabet, numeric and so on. This also determines the character set used, if applicable.


Programs' localizations for applications that use message based localization scheme (majority of Gnu programs, see next chapters for closer information which do, and how to get the programs, that don't, to work).


Defines currency units and formatting of currency type numeric values.


Defines formatting of numeric values which aren't monetary. Affects things such as thousand separator and decimal separator.


Defines formatting of dates and times.


Defines default paper size.


Defines all locale settings at once. This setting overwrites the individual LC_* settings above except LC_ALL and LC_COLLATE.

Since those variables are regular bash variables look also in the bash section

and try out echo $LC_ALL

Type the following to have your changes saved:

(For system-wide default locale:)


LC_ALL=”<your locale>

env-update && source /etc/profile

or to have it available next boot add it to /etc/env.d/02locale

(For user-specific locale:)

source ~/.bashrc

and the result goes to ~/.bashrc

There is also LINGUAS variable to be set in /etc/make.conf that lets some newer applications (as OpenOffice) know that you want more than just English. Add therefore to /etc/make.conf the following line:

LINGUAS="en de it"

emerge kde-i18n gives support to kde for localization.

Let glibc know what locales you want to use on your system by editing /etc/locale.gen. If you don't do this, the glibc will build all locales available and will use much time and the necessary disk space for that.

Verify that you have supported combinations by looking at the file /usr/share/i18n/SUPPORTED

Then run locale-gen.

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