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Debian GNU/Linux Reference Guide
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9.7.5 Activating a particular locale

The following environment variables are evaluated in this order to provide particular locale values to programs:

  1. LANGUAGE: This environment variable consists of a colon-separated list of locale names in order of priority. Used only if the POSIX locale is set to a value other than "C" [in Woody; the Potato version always has priority over the POSIX locale]. (GNU extension)

  1. LC_ALL: If this is non-null, the value is used for all locale categories. (POSIX.1) Usually "" (null).

  1. LC_*: If this is non-null, the value is used for the corresponding category (POSIX.1). Usually "C".

    LC_* variables are:

    • LC_CTYPE: Character classification and case conversion.

    • LC_COLLATE: Collation order.

    • LC_TIME: Date and time formats.

    • LC_NUMERIC: Non-monetary numeric formats.

    • LC_MONETARY: Monetary formats.

    • LC_MESSAGES: Formats of informative and diagnostic messages and interactive responses.

    • LC_PAPER: Paper size.

    • LC_NAME: Name formats.

    • LC_ADDRESS: Address formats and location information.

    • LC_TELEPHONE: Telephone number formats.

    • LC_MEASUREMENT: Measurement units (Metric or Other).

    • LC_IDENTIFICATION: Metadata about the locale information.

  1. LANG: If this is non-null and LC_ALL is undefined, the value is used for all LC_* locale categories with undefined values. (POSIX.1) Usually "C".

Note that some applications (e.g., Netscape 4) ignore LC_* settings.

The locale program can display active locale settings and available locales; see locale(1). (NOTE: locale -a lists all the locales that your system knows about; this does not mean that all of them are compiled! See Activating locale support, Section 9.7.4.)

Debian GNU/Linux Reference Guide
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  Published under the terms of the GNU General Public License Design by Interspire