Take the 2-minute tour ×
Server Fault is a question and answer site for professional system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I've written a web application for which the user interface is in Dutch. I use the system's date and time routines to format date strings in the application. However, the date strings that the system formats are in English but I want them in Dutch, so I need to set the system's locale. How do I do that on Debian? I tried setting LC_ALL=nl_NL but it doesn't seem to have any effect:

$ date
Sat Aug 15 14:31:31 UTC 2009
$ LC_ALL=nl_NL date
Sat Aug 15 14:31:36 UTC 2009

I remember that setting LC_ALL on my Ubuntu desktop system works fine. Do I need to install extra packages to make this work, or am I doing it entirely wrong?

share|improve this question
    
is there a way to do this automatically based on the assigned ip address of the server? –  Scoop Oct 5 '12 at 3:49
add comment

3 Answers 3

up vote 22 down vote accepted

Edit /etc/default/locale and set the contents to:

LANG="nl_NL.UTF-8"

You can check which locales you currently have generated using:

# locale -a

You can generate more by editing /var/lib/belocs/list and adding one per line. When you've added your locales, you can generate them by running:

# locale-gen

You can find a list of supported locales in /usr/share/i18n/SUPPORTED

There is more information available on the Debian wiki.

share|improve this answer
7  
/var/lib/belocs/list doesn't exist. You need to edit /etc/locale.gen or run dpkg-reconfigure locales instead. –  pgs Aug 16 '09 at 2:44
    
+1 this answer for describing locale-gen, but as per the previous comment, there's no such file as /var/lib/belocs/list on my system –  telent Jul 12 '11 at 19:52
add comment

You may need to install the locales package. This will ask you which locales to generate. If it's already installed, then dpkg-reconfigure locales will let you generate more locales.

share|improve this answer
    
That only generates locales, not set the system default. –  David Pashley Aug 15 '09 at 15:54
8  
NO, the final question of dpkg-reconfigure locales is to select the default locale. –  pgs Aug 16 '09 at 2:42
add comment

For a web application, it might be better to use setlocale() inside the program, rather than requiring that the system default locale be set appropriately outside. Less loose ends that way.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.