14

I know very well that to override locale settings we can use LC_ALL prepended to the command one wants to run. I also know C uses default locale of a system. But what does C stand for ?

4
17

C stands for the C programming language. It is a synonym for the POSIX locale.

See http://pubs.opengroup.org/onlinepubs/009695399/basedefs/xbd_chap07.html#tag_07_02

The POSIX locale can be specified by assigning to the appropriate environment variables the values "C" or "POSIX".

2
  • OK , so . . . .what part of that link am I supposed to read ? Edit your post please to actually cite that link properly Jul 23 '16 at 10:07
  • 2
    Same thinking, but may be due to the 1st implementation of gettext was in C language. Also not for "default locale of a system" but actually "default locale of each application". The developer can use different original/source locale than en_US or en. It could be Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese... it doesn't matter.
    – user.dz
    Jul 23 '16 at 11:13
1

The only solid hint I could was from some Slackware documentation written by the great Patrick Volkerding. In the file /etc/profile.d/lang.sh he has made the following comment:

# 'C' is the old Slackware (and UNIX) default, which is 127-bit ASCII
# with a charmap setting of ANSI_X3.4-1968.  These days, it's better to
# use en_US.UTF-8 or another modern $LANG setting (or at least en_US)
# to support extended character sets.
#export LANG=C

Without giving away what the 'C' actually stands for, but I would guess that 'C' is an alias for this very lowest and safest level of locale.... Not very satisfactory I know :(.

To see this comment for yourself in the Slackware package try the following:

wget http://slackware.osuosl.org/slackware-14.2/source/a/etc/_etc.tar.gz
tar -zxvf _etc.tar.gz etc/profile.d/lang.sh.new --strip-components 2

And then open the file lang.sh.new with your favoured text editor...

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.