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Installing Ubuntu 20.04 I chose English US as my default language but the keyboard layout as German. One of the next screens presented a world map with timezones to choose from. I clicked into it for the Middle European Timezone and went on with the installation. Finally, I created my first user (as a system administrator).

Login with that first user resulted in a desktop environment with English messages and a correct German keyboard layout. So far so good.

Then I recognized the time display is French ???

>locale delivered this kind of mixed locale-setting:

LANG=en_US.UTF-8
LANGUAGE=
LC_CTYPE=fr_FR.UTF-8
LC_NUMERIC=fr_FR.UTF-8
LC_TIME=fr_FR.UTF-8
LC_COLLATE=fr_FR.UTF-8
LC_MONETARY=fr_FR.UTF-8
LC_MESSAGES=fr_FR.UTF-8
LC_PAPER=fr_FR.UTF-8
LC_NAME=fr_FR.UTF-8
LC_ADDRESS=fr_FR.UTF-8
LC_TELEPHONE=fr_FR.UTF-8
LC_MEASUREMENT=fr_FR.UTF-8
LC_IDENTIFICATION=fr_FR.UTF-8
LC_ALL=

Using the Ubuntu settings one can change the region and language setting. And it showed English (US), Formats France. So I changed it to English with German formats. (I need the English messages but I'm used to the "normal" German date, time, etc. formats.) Then I found out under "Date & Time" that the MET timezone was chosen but with "Paris" as town. I modified that to MEZ but with Berlin/Germany.

This all helped to get for this user the desired settings. However, every new user I'm creating starts with the same mangled locale settings. Nothing helped:

>localectl set-locale seems to have no system-wide effect.

Looking for configurations files in /etc - NOTHING!

Any settings for new users in /etc/skel ? Could not find a trace.

Any advice much appreciated.

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This question has many duplicates.

The file you want to look for is /etc/default/locale. You can also check man localectl and man update-locale. One more alternative is dpkg-reconfigure locales.

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  • Thanks. /etc/default/locale is definitive the solution, man update-locale also gives the correct hint, dpkg-reconfigure locales creates locale configurations for the various languages and regions, however, man localectl seems to be less helpful. Your answer definitely helped to solve my problem. – kcbehler Mar 12 at 0:49

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