I'm using Kubuntu 18.10, and VLC (3.0.4) which was installed by default.

The problem I have is that I cannot change the language of the interface to English. When I searched for "how to change the language of VLC" I found screenshots of preferences window where there is drop down option to select the language.

However here is my a screenshot of preferences, in this awful mixture of grammatically incorrect Croatian and English, and the option to select the language is missing:

enter image description here

Please help, the software is completely unusable like this.

  • Probably you have the VLC snap then. Can you please confirm by letting us know the output of the terminal command: which vlc Dec 17, 2018 at 19:59
  • 1
    which vlc outputs /usr/bin/vlc. It's the one that came with Kubuntu installation.
    – Kresimir
    Dec 17, 2018 at 20:23
  • 2
    Ok, then you have the .deb package VLC. You already have two answers below. :) Dec 17, 2018 at 20:43

2 Answers 2


I don't think there is a language selector in VLC for Linux. It must have been a screenshot from Windows. You can still change the locale of a program, by launching it like so: LANGUAGE=en programname.

For example, LANGUAGE=en vlc.

In case you want to make it permanent, edit vlc launcher /usr/share/applications/vlc.desktop, and add env LANGUAGE=en to the Exec ... line to make it look like this:

Exec=env LANGUAGE=en /usr/bin/vlc --started-from-file %U

  • +1. It works for me. Also the shorter LANG=C vlc works for me.
    – sudodus
    Dec 17, 2018 at 20:37
  • 2
    It should be noted that changes to the .desktop file are overwritten at next upgrade of the VLC package. In my answer I point at a more sustainable method which survives package upgrades. Dec 17, 2018 at 20:54
  • 3
    Making a copy of vlc.desktop in ~/.local/share/applications and editing that file would also survive package upgrades.
    – DK Bose
    Dec 18, 2018 at 1:49
  • Doesn't work for me. Ubuntu 23.10, vlc 3.0.18
    – jasmines
    Oct 20, 2023 at 7:02

This is one way to make VLC start in English:

  • Create the file ~/bin/vlc
  • Give it this contents:

    export LANGUAGE=en
    exec /usr/bin/vlc $@
  • Make it executable:

    chmod +x ~/bin/vlc

Possibly you need to relogin before it starts working.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .