source: chapter09/locale.xml@ 953fd1f

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Last change on this file since 953fd1f was 953fd1f, checked in by Douglas R. Reno <renodr@…>, 2 years ago

locale: Reference chapter 8 instead of chapter 6 (systemd)

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1<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?>
2<!DOCTYPE sect1 PUBLIC "-//OASIS//DTD DocBook XML V4.5//EN"
3 "" [
4 <!ENTITY % general-entities SYSTEM "../general.ent">
5 %general-entities;
8<sect1 id="ch-config-locale" revision="systemd">
9 <?dbhtml filename="locale.html"?>
11 <title>Configuring the System Locale</title>
13 <indexterm zone="ch-config-locale">
14 <primary sortas="e-etc-locale-conf">/etc/locale.conf</primary>
15 </indexterm>
17 <para>The <filename>/etc/locale.conf</filename> file below sets some
18 environment variables necessary for native language support. Setting
19 them properly results in:</para>
21 <itemizedlist>
22 <listitem>
23 <para>The output of programs being translated into your native language</para>
24 </listitem>
25 <listitem>
26 <para>The correct classification of characters into letters, digits and other
27 classes. This is necessary for <command>bash</command> to properly accept
28 non-ASCII characters in command lines in non-English locales</para>
29 </listitem>
30 <listitem>
31 <para>The correct alphabetical sorting order for the country</para>
32 </listitem>
33 <listitem>
34 <para>The appropriate default paper size</para>
35 </listitem>
36 <listitem>
37 <para>The correct formatting of monetary, time, and date values</para>
38 </listitem>
39 </itemizedlist>
41 <para>Replace <replaceable>&lt;ll&gt;</replaceable> below with the two-letter code
42 for your desired language (e.g., <quote>en</quote>) and
43 <replaceable>&lt;CC&gt;</replaceable> with the two-letter code for the appropriate
44 country (e.g., <quote>GB</quote>). <replaceable>&lt;charmap&gt;</replaceable> should
45 be replaced with the canonical charmap for your chosen locale. Optional
46 modifiers such as <quote>@euro</quote> may also be present.</para>
48 <para>The list of all locales supported by Glibc can be obtained by running
49 the following command:</para>
51<screen role="nodump"><userinput>locale -a</userinput></screen>
53 <para>Charmaps can have a number of aliases, e.g., <quote>ISO-8859-1</quote>
54 is also referred to as <quote>iso8859-1</quote> and <quote>iso88591</quote>.
55 Some applications cannot handle the various synonyms correctly (e.g., require
56 that <quote>UTF-8</quote> is written as <quote>UTF-8</quote>, not
57 <quote>utf8</quote>), so it is the safest in most
58 cases to choose the canonical name for a particular locale. To determine
59 the canonical name, run the following command, where <replaceable>&lt;locale
60 name&gt;</replaceable> is the output given by <command>locale -a</command> for
61 your preferred locale (<quote>en_GB.iso88591</quote> in our example).</para>
63<screen role="nodump"><userinput>LC_ALL=<replaceable>&lt;locale name&gt;</replaceable> locale charmap</userinput></screen>
65 <para>For the <quote>en_GB.iso88591</quote> locale, the above command
66 will print:</para>
70 <para>This results in a final locale setting of <quote>en_GB.ISO-8859-1</quote>.
71 It is important that the locale found using the heuristic above is tested prior
72 to it being added to the Bash startup files:</para>
74<screen role="nodump"><userinput>LC_ALL=&lt;locale name&gt; locale language
75LC_ALL=&lt;locale name&gt; locale charmap
76LC_ALL=&lt;locale name&gt; locale int_curr_symbol
77LC_ALL=&lt;locale name&gt; locale int_prefix</userinput></screen>
79 <para>The above commands should print the language name, the character
80 encoding used by the locale, the local currency, and the prefix to dial
81 before the telephone number in order to get into the country. If any of the
82 commands above fail with a message similar to the one shown below, this means
83 that your locale was either not installed in Chapter&nbsp;8 or is not
84 supported by the default installation of Glibc.</para>
86<screen><computeroutput>locale: Cannot set LC_* to default locale: No such file or directory</computeroutput></screen>
88 <para>If this happens, you should either install the desired locale using the
89 <command>localedef</command> command, or consider choosing a different locale.
90 Further instructions assume that there are no such error messages from
91 Glibc.</para>
93 <!-- FIXME: the xlib example will become obsolete in the future.-->
94 <para>Some packages beyond LFS may also lack support for your chosen locale. One
95 example is the X library (part of the X Window System), which outputs the
96 following error message if the locale does not exactly match one of the character
97 map names in its internal files:</para>
99<screen><computeroutput>Warning: locale not supported by Xlib, locale set to C</computeroutput></screen>
101 <para>In several cases Xlib expects that the character map will be listed in
102 uppercase notation with canonical dashes. For instance, "ISO-8859-1" rather
103 than "iso88591". It is also possible to find an appropriate specification by
104 removing the charmap part of the locale specification. This can be checked
105 by running the <command>locale charmap</command> command in both locales.
106 For example, one would have to change "de_DE.ISO-8859-15@euro" to
107 "de_DE@euro" in order to get this locale recognized by Xlib.</para>
109 <para>Other packages can also function incorrectly (but may not necessarily
110 display any error messages) if the locale name does not meet their expectations.
111 In those cases, investigating how other Linux distributions support your locale
112 might provide some useful information.</para>
114 <para>Once the proper locale settings have been determined, create the
115 <filename>/etc/locale.conf</filename> file:</para>
117<screen><userinput>cat &gt; /etc/locale.conf &lt;&lt; "EOF"
121 <para>Note that you can modify <filename>/etc/locale.conf</filename> with the
122 systemd <command>localectl</command> utility. To use
123 <command>localectl</command> for the example above, run:</para>
125<screen role="nodump"><userinput>localectl set-locale LANG="<replaceable>&lt;ll&gt;_&lt;CC&gt;.&lt;charmap&gt;&lt;@modifiers&gt;</replaceable>"</userinput></screen>
127 <para>You can also specify other language specific environment variables such
128 as <envar>LANG</envar>, <envar>LC_CTYPE</envar>, <envar>LC_NUMERIC</envar> or
129 any other environment variable from <command>locale</command> output. Just
130 separate them with a space. An example where <envar>LANG</envar> is set as
131 en_US.UTF-8 but <envar>LC_CTYPE</envar> is set as just en_US is:</para>
133<screen role="nodump"><userinput>localectl set-locale LANG="en_US.UTF-8" LC_CTYPE="en_US"</userinput></screen>
135 <note><para>Please note that the <command>localectl</command> command can
136 be used only on a system booted with systemd.</para></note>
138 <para>The <quote>C</quote> (default) and <quote>en_US</quote> (the recommended
139 one for United States English users) locales are different. <quote>C</quote>
140 uses the US-ASCII 7-bit character set, and treats bytes with the high bit set
141 as invalid characters. That's why, e.g., the <command>ls</command> command
142 substitutes them with question marks in that locale. Also, an attempt to send
143 mail with such characters from Mutt or Pine results in non-RFC-conforming
144 messages being sent (the charset in the outgoing mail is indicated as <quote>unknown
145 8-bit</quote>). It's suggested that you use the <quote>C</quote> locale only
146 if you are certain that you will never need 8-bit characters.</para>
149 <para>UTF-8 based locales are not supported well by many programs.
150 Work is in progress to document and, if possible, fix such problems, see
151 <ulink url="&blfs-book;introduction/locale-issues.html"/>.</para>
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