How to Set Up System Locale on CentOS 7

 In Dedicated, VPS

Connect to your CentOS VPS via SSH and update your system software to the latest version available before doing anything else. Issue the following command to do that:

# yum update

The update process should take no longer than few minutes to complete. Once it completes, run the following command to check the system locale specified on your server:

# localectl status

You should see something like the following:

# localectl status
   System Locale: LANG=en_US.utf8
       VC Keymap: n/a
      X11 Layout: n/a

You can check the system locale specified on your CentOS system by reading the /etc/locale.conf file too:

# cat /etc/locale.conf
LANG=en_US.utf8

If you want to set up different system locale on your system you can do that by using the localectl command. First, list the available locales:

# localectl list-locales

The list should be very long. If you want to filter the English locales you can do that using the command below:

# localectl list-locales | grep en_

You should get something like the following:

# localectl list-locales | grep en_
en_AG
en_AG.utf8
en_AU
en_AU.iso88591
en_AU.utf8
en_BW
en_BW.iso88591
en_BW.utf8
en_CA
en_CA.iso88591
en_CA.utf8
en_DK
en_DK.iso88591
en_DK.utf8
en_GB
en_GB.iso88591
en_GB.iso885915
en_GB.utf8
en_HK
...

To set up a specific system locale to be a default one, you can use the localectl command:

The syntax is the following:

# localectl set-locale LANG=locale_name

Of course, you need to replace locale_name with the default locale you like to set. For example, if you’d like to set en_GB.utf8 as a default system locale you can use the command below:

# localectl set-locale LANG=en_GB.utf8

To check if everything is OK you can run the following command again:

# localectl status

Now, the output should be same like the following:

# localectl status
   System Locale: LANG=en_GB.utf8
       VC Keymap: n/a
      X11 Layout: n/a

Using localectl you can set up virtual console keyboard mappings on your system too. For more information about what options are available you can use the –help flag:

# localectl --help

The output of the command above should be similar to the following one:

# localectl --help
localectl [OPTIONS...] COMMAND ...

Query or change system locale and keyboard settings.

  -h --help                Show this help
     --version             Show package version
     --no-pager            Do not pipe output into a pager
     --no-ask-password     Do not prompt for password
  -H --host=[USER@]HOST    Operate on remote host
  -M --machine=CONTAINER   Operate on local container
     --no-convert          Don't convert keyboard mappings

Commands:
  status                   Show current locale settings
  set-locale LOCALE...     Set system locale
  list-locales             Show known locales
  set-keymap MAP [MAP]     Set console and X11 keyboard mappings
  list-keymaps             Show known virtual console keyboard mappings
  set-x11-keymap LAYOUT [MODEL [VARIANT [OPTIONS]]]
                           Set X11 and console keyboard mappings
  list-x11-keymap-models   Show known X11 keyboard mapping models
  list-x11-keymap-layouts  Show known X11 keyboard mapping layouts
  list-x11-keymap-variants [LAYOUT]
                           Show known X11 keyboard mapping variants
  list-x11-keymap-options  Show known X11 keyboard mapping options
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