This is my first time on this site so I hope this question is okay. Anyway, I'm relatively new to linux. I did look around for resources and tried to find anything that I could manage myself, however, there's not much information about this specifically.

About 3 hours ago I ran sudo apt-get install localepurge, I was tired and was just interested in cleaning/security. I made the mistake of selecting 'ok' at the screen where you choose your locales. I've seen a video and apparently 1 type gets saved as a default or something. I don't know how to reverse this so I was hoping I could get a little bit of advice.

Information I've saved just incase is my locale output, locale -a output, locale -a -v output. Etc/locale/default contains a text file saying #File generated by update-locale LANG="en_US.UTF-8". /var/cache/localepurge/localelist contains quite a lot of locales, including en_US.UTF-8 (I'm not sure how it all works so sorry if this is just random information). In /var/lib/locales/supported.d I have and 'en' text file that contains about 15 different locales (I'm not sure why).

I've left the terminal open and it's at the screen after choosing locales to keep, giving an option for 'Use dpkg --path-exclude?' yes/no. I haven't tried interfering with it with interrupts or kill because I've read that doesn't have a great outcome. I've noticed at that time is when some locale.c and locale perl files were modified/accessed/created. As of now in terms of decreasing last modification time, (searched locale from /) it's localepurge/localelist, var/cache/localpurge, some locale.config file and there's also a locale.gen (x-application-genesis-rom) file.

I really am not sure what to do. I'd think I could avoid potential harm by possibly adding extra entries to some of the locale textfiles but I don't think that's a good idea. And I don't know what to do with the installation since I can't cancel it and I don't know what my selections truly imply when I only have the default en_US.UTF-8.

I do know that after the installation completes I could (possibly) do dpkg-reconfigure localepurge, there's a reinstall_debs.sh file that will appear, and 1 more file that seemed important after the installation.

If anyone has some advice it'd be appreciated, I know it's a little specific but I've honestly looked around for resources and couldn't find anything to assure me safety. Thank you

  • Please kill the process with ctrl+c, then look here and see if you will see this file /usr/share/doc/localepurge/reinstall_debs.sh Dec 29, 2016 at 10:09
  • 1
    word of caution here worth noting Dec 29, 2016 at 10:25
  • 1
    I got an app grive which won't work because my locale isn't what it uses so exercise caution Dec 29, 2016 at 10:30
  • Pressing Ctrl+c didn't seem to affect it. I imagine since it's already in the process of installation, I'd have to use Ctrl+z or send a command to its id? I won't do that unless advised.
    – Not Shrek
    Dec 29, 2016 at 10:30
  • yes use that too it should stop it Dec 29, 2016 at 10:34

1 Answer 1


If all you did was run localepurge then you have nothing to worry about. All it does is remove language support files for unneeded languages; those can easily be reinstalled from the System Settings / Language Support if you change your mind.

Beware that localepurge "will be automagically invoked by dpkg upon completion of any apt installation run" (from man localepurge); I would suggest that you remove it with sudo apt-get purge localepurge after the first run. The manual page of localepurge has more information, including a warning that "it is a hack" and it "is not integrated with Debian's package management system".

  • It's not an issue that I accidentally skipped the initial selection of locales to keep? Since none were picked, I thought the update-locale generates a default one (en_US.UTF-8) that is kept while it removes all other ones. My supported.d file has several locales listed and then there's the thing with the 10+ LC ... = en_US.UTF-8 and 'LANGUAGE=en_US' also being listed in addition to LANG=en_US.UTF-8 for the locale command output.
    – Not Shrek
    Dec 29, 2016 at 10:21
  • I guess since all I have is the default one since I didn't choose any, aren't all applications going to be dysfunctional without other locales they used?
    – Not Shrek
    Dec 29, 2016 at 10:24
  • word of caution here worth noting Dec 29, 2016 at 10:24
  • @NotShrek see my link to buttress you statement. Dec 29, 2016 at 10:26
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    @NotShrek: Reinstall localepurge only if you want to run it again. On most systems the disk space reclaimed by localpurge is too little for the hassle.
    – AlexP
    Dec 29, 2016 at 11:00

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