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[[LocalePurge]] Reducing the number of installed locales LocalePurge - Reducing the number of installed locales

This page indicates how to install / use Debian in your local language.

See :


Text way

  • Edit the file /etc/locale.gen (i.e. open a terminal as root, and type nano /etc/locale.gen ) and add your locale settings (one set per line), e.g.:

     de_DE.UTF-8 UTF-8
     de_DE ISO-8859-1
     de_DE@euro ISO-8859-15

You can see the supported locales by typing less /usr/share/i18n/SUPPORTED or in ?LocaleSupported .

  • Run the command locale-gen

  • Run the command locale -a to verify the list of available locales; note that the spellings change.

  • Optionally, add a default locale setting to the file /etc/profile (using one of the entries from locale -a):

     : ${LANG:=de_DE.iso88591}; export LANG

    This will only set LANG if it was not previously defined, for example by ssh. Doing this in /etc/profile means it only works for users who run bash, ksh, sh and so on -- not tcsh or csh. Also, it won't affect users who login with xdm, gdm, etc.

  • If you've upgraded to Lenny and you have leftover LANG=... content in /etc/environment, you should comment it out (type nano /etc/environment and put a # character in front of the line, and then save it).

  • To use the new settings with your programs, log out and back in. (Any already-running programs will not be affected.)

TODO: how to configure things properly for xdm/gdm/etc. users.

TODO: ?SendEnv in ~/.ssh/config, personal locale settings in .bash_profile or similar.

Cursor way

Get root and type dpkg-reconfigure locales and select your locale. If you have users who access the system through ssh, it is recommended that you choose None as your default locale in the final question.

This changes /etc/default/locale and /etc/locale.gen (in older versions of Debian, also /etc/environment). If you chose a default locale other than None above, it will be in /etc/default/locale and will override the LANG variable supplied by ssh.

If you've upgraded to Lenny and have leftover LANG=... content in /etc/environment, comment it out, as shown above.

Now, optionally, edit /etc/profile as shown in the previous section. (You don't need to do that if you chose a default locale other than None. But if you chose None, then you probably should.)



dpkg-reconfigure console-common

It over-writes /etc/console/boottime.kmap.gz.


This section is way out of date. Package and file names have all changed.

dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xfree86

It changes /etc/X11/?XF86Config-4 , Section "?InputDevice"

Zones, languages and countries

See Also

?LocalePurge - Reducing the number of installed locales