6.1 Changing the System Language
Depending on how you use your desktop and whether you want to switch the
entire system to another language or just the desktop environment itself,
there are several ways to achieve this:
- Change the System Language Globally
Proceed as described in Section 6.1.1, Installing Additional System Languages and
Section 6.1.2, Switching the System Language to install additional
localized packages with YaST and set the default language. Changes
are effective after relogin. To ensure that the entire system reflects
the change, reboot the system or close and restart all running
services, applications, and programs.
- Change the Language for the Desktop Only
Provided you have previously installed the desired language packages
for your desktop environment with YaST as described below, you can
switch the language of your desktop using the desktop's control
center. After X has been restarted, your entire desktop reflects your
new choice of language. Applications not belonging to your desktop
framework are not affected by this change and may still appear in the
language that was set in YaST.
- Temporarily Switch Languages for One Application Only
To run a single application in another language (that has already been
installed with YaST), use one of the following commands:
to start any standard X application or GNOME application in German.
For other languages, use the appropriate language code. Get a list
of all language codes available using the locale
application to start any KDE
application in German. For other languages, use the appropriate
6.1.1 Installing Additional System Languages
The main language was selected during installation (see
Section 1.6, Welcome) and keyboard and time zone
settings were adjusted. However, you can install additional languages on
your system and determine which of the different languages installed
should be taken as the default. Before installing additional languages,
determine which of them should be activated after you install it. YaST
knows two different language categories:
- Primary Language
The primary language set in YaST applies to the entire system,
including YaST and the desktop environment. This language is used
whenever available unless you manually specify another language.
- Secondary Languages
Secondary languages are languages selected manually for a specific
situation. For example, use a secondary language to start an
application in a certain language, for example, to do word processing
in this language.
Figure 6-1 Setting the Language
To install an additional language, proceed as follows:
As root, start YaST.
Select the desired languages from the list of languages offered in
. When you leave this dialog
with , YaST installs the additional localized
software packages. The system is multilingual, but you need to set the
desired language explicitly to start an application in a language
other than the primary one.
To make this language the default (the primary language), select it
Adapt the keyboard to the new primary language and adjust the time
zone, if appropriate.
Select root and to determine the exact locale:
to change language settings
- Locale Settings for User root
ctype only adjusts the LC_TYPE
variable in /etc/sysconfig/language for
root, which sets the localization for language-specific
function calls. yes sets the language for
root to the same as the language for local users.
no means the language settings for root
are not affected by language changes. All
locale values remain unset.
- Use UTF-8 Encoding
Disable this box, if you do not want to use UTF-8 encoding for
- Detailed Locale Setting
If your locale was not included in the list of primary languages
available, try explicitly specifying it here. However, some of
these localizations may be incomplete.
Leave this dialog and apply your settings with .
6.1.2 Switching the System Language
Switching the system language is similar to installing additional
languages. Use the YaST language module to change the primary language
and to adjust keyboard and time zone. Once YaST has applied your
changes and any open X sessions have been restarted, YaST,
applications, and the desktop reflect your new language settings.