Language / locale settings on Kubuntu

I recently installed a Dutch-language version of Kubuntu on my aunt’s laptop and on a friend’s PC. There were some issues regarding the language or locale settings: programs would start up in English despite the Dutch locale, or I would get complaints about the locale settings when running programs on/from the command line. Here’s how they were solved.

Gimp runs in English only

The solution was readily found online: “Gimps localization files reside in gnome language packs”. Hence this problem will affect other Gnome programs as well. To install the Dutch language pack:

aptitude install language-pack-gnome-nl-base

Simply replace the “nl” with your favourite language code to install that instead.

“LC_ALL = (unset)” on the command line

I regularly encountered the (annoying) warning “LC_ALL = (unset)” when running a program on the command line, e.g. when installing a package using aptitude. The solution was to add the line


to the file /etc/environment and reboot. This may also fix the issue below, but since I tried them the other way around, I am not sure.

locale.Error: unsupported locale setting

The error message “locale.Error: unsupported locale setting” would appear whenevery I mistyped a command (which triggers a command-not-found routine using Python). Typing the commands below as root fixed this for the case of a Dutch locale (nl_NL).

# export LANGUAGE=nl_NL.UTF-8
# export LANGUAGE=nl_NL.UTF-8
# export LANG=nl_NL.UTF-8
# export LC_ALL=nl_NL.UTF-8
# locale-gen nl_NL.UTF-8
# dpkg-reconfigure locales

I’m not sure whether prepending “sudo” everywhere when running as a unprivileged user will have the same effect, but with a bit of luck the solution to the previous problem has also fixed this one.

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