I inherited a dell mini!, running Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.

The problem is that the language is set to Vietnamese so I can't use it properly.

When I change the language priority to having English as first priority it won't save my changes and logging out then in again I am still stuck in Vietnamese.

If I try to un-install the Vietnamese language pack it say that the setupid permission is invalid. I can't seem to change this vis terminal.

I tried to change the language via terminal but it gave me Vietnamese error messages which I can't read.

I then tried to reset Ubuntu to it's factory settings with: rm -rf .gnome .gnome2 .gconf .gconfd .metacity but it didn't do anything and nothing happened when I logged back in.

Please help me if you can because I can't use Ubuntu in a foreign language!


Try runnning LANGUAGE=C gnome-language-selector from a terminal window (Ctrl+Alt+T). It will bring up the Language Selector in English. From there, you will be able to set the language of your choice as the default.

If that doesn't work, try:

LANGUAGE=C sudo apt-get install language-pack-en
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  • Thank you very much for this help. It hasn't worked but that is because I don't have the right privileges. When I type: "LANGUAGE=C sudo apt-get install language-pack-en" It says, sudo: must be setuid root. So it is something wrong with my privileges. When I try to delete the vietnamese language pack thing it says that my permission is invalid or something. How can I change my permissions? Remember I can't read vietnamese so it would have to be done via terminal with that LANGUAGE=C thing. Cheers – user82597 Aug 11 '12 at 1:41
  • Does the machine have a USB port or an optical drive it can boot from? – Cumulus007 Aug 11 '12 at 20:27
  • Yes there is a USB port. What should I do now? – user82597 Aug 12 '12 at 3:05

You can boot a live/install usb key to re-install Ubuntu. This will reformat the hard drive and install the system with the settings you want. It's a good idea to reformat the hard drive anyway when taking over a computer from some else.

For help making a live usb, see http://www.linuxliveusb.com/ for the free LiLi tool. This is a very helpful free Windows program for making live usb's. It works with a many different distros.

See also http://www.pendrivelinux.com/, though a lot of the information here is more intermediate.

If you have a working Ubuntu install, you can use Startup Disk Creator

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