I am running Ubuntu Gnome 15.04, and every spell checker on the machine, and language etc, is in English (US), however I want to change that to English (UK), and I want to add support for Russian so that I can change to that when I wish, and tell my spell checkers to also change to that. In the normal Ubuntu 15.04 installation there is a language support section, and apparently in earlier versions of Ubuntu Gnome, however in Ubuntu Gnome 15.04 I cannot find this functionality.

So I believe my question is clear, in Ubuntu Gnome 15.04 how do I add additional language packs (specifically English (UK) and Russian)?

OS Information:

No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID: Ubuntu
Description:    Ubuntu 15.04
Release:    15.04
Codename:   vivid

The terminal way

The terminal way is excellent described in answer of @GunnarHjalmarsson and in the answer of @Serg.

The GUI way

Start the Language Support via GNOME Shell or language-selector-gnome (GNOME 3.14) or gnome-language-selector (GNOME 3.16) in a terminal.

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Click Install / Remove Languages… and select one or more languages to install

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  • If I don't see the languages I want here, what can I do? I have the ISO but not internet. Adding my ISO to the sources helps? – WesternGun Sep 12 '16 at 14:01

Here's a few command line tools you might not have been aware of.

  1. The good-old apt-get!

    Search with apt-cache search language-pack-gnome-xx, there xx is the code for language. In your case, if you want russian – apt-cache search language-pack-gnome-ru. There's two packages, actually, language-pack-gnome-ru and language-pack-gnome-ru-base. Running sudo apt-get install language-pack-gnome-ru tells me:

    The following extra packages will be installed:
      firefox-locale-ru language-pack-gnome-ru-base language-pack-ru
    The following NEW packages will be installed:
      firefox-locale-ru language-pack-gnome-ru language-pack-gnome-ru-base
      language-pack-ru language-pack-ru-base

    So as you can see, base package gets installed automatically – no need to worry about that.

  2. Long time ago I had to write a script that automatically sets language input and turns out gsettings does that quite well.

    Run gsettings get org.gnome.desktop.input-sources sources to get your selection for current input sources available. If you want to add a language source, here's my example of adding Spanish to my list:

    gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.input-sources  sources "[('xkb', 'us'),('xkb','es'),('xkb','zh')]" 

    Notice the comas and single quotes, as well as double quotes. Very important for syntax.

  3. check-language-support command.

    This neat little command will help you find out which language packs you are missing, you can target a specific language with -l or --language=LANG flags, as well as --show-installed. Neat, isn't it?


I'm aware of two ways. Either you install Language Support:

sudo apt-get install language-selector-gnome

and do it from there. Optionally you can just run these commands in a terminal window:

sudo mkdir /usr/share/locale-langpack/ru
sudo apt-get install $(check-language-support)
  • Sorry, I haven't used your code in my answer, see the history. I will remove it again. – A.B. Jul 29 '15 at 5:25
  • @A.B.: Aha.. I should have looked at the history. Sorry for blaming you by flagging the answer. I noticed an "unaccept" entry in my reputation log, and got pissed when I saw my answer almost copied with a couple of pics added. Now I see it was the OP who 'merged' our answers and moved the accept mark. Actually, the 'merged' answer was better IMO, and personally - in the light of what I know now - I wouldn't mind if you changed it back. Sorry again. – Gunnar Hjalmarsson Jul 29 '15 at 9:03
  • I have added an extra section in my answer for your solution. I thinks, this is better for you and for me :) – A.B. Jul 29 '15 at 9:55
  • Sorry, I didn't realise what I could cause by merging them together... – user364819 Nov 17 '15 at 17:01

What i did was:

sudo apt-get upgrade *lang*es* (in case I want to install Spanish)

This is to search any language pack which name contains lang and es, with leading letters and trailing letters.

And from the packages listed, I chose to install language-pack-gnome-es, and so on. Actually after installing this you hardly need anything else.

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