Gentoo Linux Localization Guide
In order to keep time properly, /etc/localtime must point to
the correct time zone data file. Look around in
/usr/share/zoneinfo/ and pick your timezone or a near-by big city.
Code Listing 1.1: setting the timezone
# ln -sf /usr/share/zoneinfo/Europe/Berlin /etc/localtime
Sun Feb 16 08:26:44 CET 2003
Make sure that the three-letter timezone indicator (in this case "CET")
is correct for your area.
You can set the value of TZ to be everything after the
/usr/share/zoneinfo in your shell rc file
(.bash_profile for bash) for a user-level setting. In this case
2. System Clock
In most Gentoo Linux installations, your system clock is set to
UTC (or GMT, Greenwhich Mean Time) and then your timezone is
taken into account to determine the actual, local time. If,
for some reason, you need your system clock not to be in UTC,
you will need to edit /etc/rc.conf and change the
value of CLOCK.
Code Listing 2.1: local vs. GMT clock
3. POSIX Locale
Using Existing Locales
The next step is to set the LANG shell variable, which
is used by your shell and window manager (and some other
applications). Valid values can be found in
/usr/share/locale and generally take the form
ab_CD, where ab is your two letter language code
and CD is your two letter country code. The _CD
is left off if your language is only (or primarily) spoken in
one country. LANG can be set in
/etc/profile if you want it to take effect
system-wide, or in ~/.bashrc as a user-specific
Appended @euro to your locale if you want to use the new Euro
currency symbol (€)
Generating Specific Locales
If you use a locale that isn't available by default, you should use
localedef to generate your locale. For instance:
Code Listing 3.2: Generating a locale using localedef
# localedef -c -i en_US -f ISO-8859-15 en_US.ISO-8859-15
After having generated the locale, you can export the LANG variable as you see
Code Listing 3.3: Exporting the LANG variable
# export LANG="en_US.ISO-8859-15"
4. Keyboard layout for the console
The keyboard layout used by the console is set in
/etc/rc.conf by the KEYMAP variable.
Valid values can be found in
i386 has further subdivisions into layout
(qwerty/, azerty/, etc.). Some
languages have multiple options, so you may wish to experiment
to decide which one fits your needs best.
Code Listing 4.1: setting the console keymap
5. Keyboard layout for the X server
The keyboard layout to be used by the X server is specified
in /etc/X11/XF86Config by the XkbLayout
Code Listing 5.1: setting the X keymap
Option "XkbLayout" "de"
# Option "XkbVariant" "nodeadkeys"
For KDE you have to install the kde-i18n package with the appropriate
LINGUAS environment variable set:
Code Listing 6.1: Install localized KDE
# LINGUAS="de" emerge kde-i18n
7. The Euro Symbol for the Console
In order to get your console to display the Euro symbol, you
will need to set CONSOLEFONT in
/etc/rc.conf to a file found in
/usr/share/consolefonts/ (without the
.psfu.gz). lat9w-16 has the Euro symbol.
Code Listing 7.1: setting the console font
8. The Euro Symbol in X
Getting the Euro symbol to work properly in X is a little
bit tougher. The first thing you should do is change the fixed
and variable definitions in
/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/misc/fonts.alias to end
in iso8859-15 instead of iso8859-1.
Code Listing 8.1: setting default X fonts
Some applications use their own font, and you will have to
tell them separately to use a font with the Euro symbol. You
can do this at a user-specific level in
.Xdefaults (you can copy this file to
/etc/skel/ for use by new users), or at a global
level for any application with a resource file in
/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/app-defaults/ (like xterm). In
these files you generally have to change an existing line,
rather than adding a new one. To change our xterm font, for
Code Listing 8.2: setting fonts for xterm
# echo 'XTerm*font: fixed' >> .Xresources
# xrdb -merge .Xresources
The Euro symbol in (X)Emacs
To use the Euro symbol in (X)Emacs, add the following to
Code Listing 8.3: setting the font for emacs
For XEmacs (not plain Emacs), you have to do a little
more. In /home/user/.xemacs/init.el, add:
Code Listing 8.4: setting the font for xemacs
(define-key global-map '(EuroSign) '[€])
The symbol in the s is the Euro symbol.
Language for OpenOffice
Customized default language is not available for openoffice-bin ebuild. The
default language in the openoffice-bin is ENUS.
The default language for OpenOffice is set as "ENUS"(01). If you wish to
change the default language for OpenOffice, check the ebuild for the
default language code.
Code Listing 8.5: emerge openoffice with desired default language
# LANGUAGE="01" emerge openoffice