This article describes the localization (abbreviated L10N) and internationalization (abbreviated I18N) of software.
A locale defines settings such as the language, the date/time format and the paper size that are used in a certain country. You can find possible locales in /usr/share/i18n/locales. E.g. for Germany choose
de-DE.UTF-8. A UTF-8 based locale is strongly recommended.
You need to activate the following kernel options:
Add your locales to /etc/locale.gen (optional: delete all other locales):
Afterwards run locale-gen to generate the locales. locale -a lists all installed locales.
Use eselect locale or manually add your locale to /etc/env.d/02locale so the system uses the locale:
To apply the changes run:
locale now shows your locale.
Portage knows the global USE flag nls for enabling support for localization in other packages (default for almost all profiles). Also set the LINGUAS variable to support only your languages, e.g. for German:
A list of locales that can be used is provided as /usr/portage/profiles/desc/linguas.desc:
After setting this you want to update your system so the changes take effect:
Set the font used by the console. Valid values can be found in /usr/share/consolefonts.
Set your console font in /etc/conf.d/consolefont, e.g. for German:
Set the keyboard layout used by the console. Valid values can be found in /usr/share/keymaps/YOUR_ARCH.
Set your keyboard layout in /etc/conf.d/keymaps, e.g. for German:
See the system time article.
See the evdev article.
See the KDE article.
To type non-Western scripts, you may need to use an input method.