System Locale Configuration-RHEL 7

The system locale specifies the language settings of system services and user interfaces. The keyboard layout settings control the layout used on the text console and graphical user interfaces.
These settings can be made by modifying the /etc/locale.conf configuration file or by using the localectl utility.


System-wide locale settings are stored in the /etc/locale.conf file, which is read at early boot by the systemd daemon. The locale settings configured in /etc/locale.conf are inherited by every service or user, unless individual programs or individual users override them.
The basic file format of /etc/locale.conf is a newline-separated list of variable assignments.

sudo cat /etc/locale.conf

German locale with English messages in /etc/locale.conf looks as follows:


Here, the LC_MESSAGES option determines the locale used for diagnostic messages written to the standard error output. To further specify locale settings in /etc/locale.conf

Table 1.1. Options configurable in /etc/locale.conf

Option Description
LANG Provides a default value for the system locale.
LC_COLLATE Changes the behavior of functions which compare strings in the local alphabet.
LC_CTYPE Changes the behavior of the character handling and classification functions and the multibyte character functions.
LC_NUMERIC Describes the way numbers are usually printed, with details such as decimal point versus decimal comma.
LC_TIME Changes the display of the current time, 24-hour versus 12-hour clock.
LC_MESSAGES Determines the locale used for diagnostic messages written to the standard error output.

1.1.1. Displaying the Current Status

The localectl command can be used to query and change the system locale and keyboard layout settings. To show the current settings, use the status option:
localectl status


Example 1.1. Displaying the Current Status

The output of the previous command lists the currently set locale, keyboard layout configured for the console and for the X11 window system.
~]$ localectl status
   System Locale: LANG=en_US.UTF-8
       VC Keymap: us
      X11 Layout: n/a

1.1.2. Listing Available Locales

To list all locales available for your system, type:
localectl list-locales

Example 1.2. Listing Locales

Imagine you want to select a specific English locale, but you are not sure if it is available on the system. You can check that by listing all English locales with the following command:
~]$ localectl list-locales | grep en_

output truncated

1.1.3. Setting the Locale

To set the default system locale, use the following command as root:
localectl set-locale LANG=locale
Replace locale with the locale name, found with the localectl list-locales command.

Example 1.3. Changing the Default Locale

For example, if you want to set British English as your default locale, first find the name of this locale by using list-locales. Then, as root, type the command in the following form:
~]# localectl set-locale LANG=en_GB.utf8



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