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A remote installed application has some encoding problems and on my local machine it is running fine.

What is the best way to "copy" my locales to the remote machine?

The locales on my personal machine are configured like this:

$ locale
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a user-specific locale (for one user) or generally for the whole system? – medigeek Sep 26 '12 at 15:46
up vote 13 down vote accepted

The easier way

  1. Export all locales into a file

    locale > import

  2. Open file and add export at the start of each line

  3. Make it executable with the command chmod ugo+rx import

  4. Copy to desired profile and execute ./import

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(a) "Copy to desired profile" -- does this mean to move the file to the home of the user (b) Is this a permanent solution? – medigeek Sep 27 '12 at 5:06

You can set locale manually using update-locale:

sudo update-locale LANG=de_DE.UTF-8 LC_MESSAGES=POSIX

Read the man page for more information.

Alternatively, you can manually change your system's locale entries by modifying the file /etc/default/locale.

For example on a German system, to prevent system messages from being translated, you may use:


Note: changes take effect only after a fresh login.


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I think update-locale needs sudo. Personally I like your alternative solution, maybe you should make it a primary one. :) – medigeek Sep 26 '12 at 15:45
updated it!! :) – green Sep 26 '12 at 15:47
"perl: warning: Setting locale failed." .. How to fix this ? – Sliq Jan 14 '13 at 15:43
Run the following command: sudo dpkg-reconfigure locales. – green Jan 16 '13 at 11:38

There are some recommendations when configuring locales in remote machines

1) In Debian machines (remote machine), run the command (as root):

dpkg-reconfigure locales

On the first screen, select the desired locales. After that you will be prompted to choose which is the default locale. Select "none" (reference: ).

2) Configure your ssh service (/etc/ssh/sshd_config) to accept environment variables from the client: uncomment the line:

AcceptEnv LANG LC_*

Restart you ssh server, logoff and log back in and run the locale command. It must match your local machine's locale

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You said "On the first screen, select the desired locales", but I have tested on Ubuntu V14.04.2LTS and all the process is done automatically (Generating locales... ... and later Generation complete.) I get no selection screen. – Sopalajo de Arrierez Mar 14 '15 at 0:02

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