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How to Change or Set System Locales in Linux?
  • Last Updated : 26 Mar, 2021

Locale is basically a set of environmental variables that defines the user’s language, region, and any special variant preferences that the user wants to see in their Linux interface. System libraries and locale-aware applications on the system use these environmental variables.

Locale settings usually consist of at least a language code, a country/region code, time/date format, numbers format setting, currency format setting, Color setting, etc. Here we will see how to set/change or view the system’s locale in Linux.

Viewing System Locale in Linux

For viewing the information regarding the currently installed locale use the following command on the terminal:-

$ locale

How to Change or Set System Locales in Linux

We will get a list of variables that can be reset to a different value according to our choice later on.



The current status can be seen using the following command:

localectl status

How to Change or Set System Locales in Linux

Display Details of a Specific Variable

We can also view more information about a specific variable that we saw when we run the locale command, for example, LC_TIME, which stores the time and date format, LC_PAPER which stores the paper size settings, LC_TELEPHONE which stores telephone settings format, etc.

You can get this information by using the following commands:-

$ locale -k LC_TIME
$ locale -k LC_TELEPHONE
$ locale -k LC_PAPER  

How to Change or Set System Locales in Linux

How to Change or Set System Locales in Linux

Display All Available locale

 Display a list of all available locales using the following command:-

$ locale -a

How to Change or Set System Locales in Linux



Setting up System Locale in Linux

We might want to change or set the system local, for that we have to use the update-locale program. The LANG variable allows us to set up the locale for the entire system.

For setting up LANG to en_IN.UTF-8 and removes definitions for LANGUAGE we can use the following command:-

$ sudo update-locale LANG=LANG=en_IN.UTF-8 LANGUAGE
OR
$ sudo localectl set-locale LANG=en_IN.UTF-8

Global locale settings

We can find global locale settings in /etc/default/locale on Ubuntu/Debian Linux distros that you can edit for configuring your system locale manually using the following command:-

$  sudo vi /etc/default/locale

How to Change or Set System Locales in Linux

To Change locale

We can also change the value of a locale that is preset, by editing the .bashrc profile by using the following command:-

sudo nano ~/.bashrc

How to Change or Set System Locales in Linux

We can set a global locale for a single user, by adding the following lines at the end of  the ~/.bash_profile file 

LANG="en_IN.utf8"
export LANG

If you want to get more information about the System locale, update-locale and localectl just view the manual pages using the following command:-

$ man locale
$ man update-locale
$ man localectl

How to Change or Set System Locales in Linux

How to Change or Set System Locales in Linux

How to Change or Set System Locales in Linux

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