In my Ubuntu I went to System Settings > Language support -> Install/Remove Languages and I just get English.

I tried sudo apt-get install language-pack-fr language-pack-gnome-fr language-pack-fr-base language-pack-gnome-fr-base as suggested in the answer to How can I install one language by command-line. For any language I try I get no success with this method.

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Any ideas?

  • 2
    Weird. I have a whole huge list of them. Are you connected to the internet AND do you have the repositories up-to-date? – dadexix86 Oct 1 '17 at 19:17
  • Something is definitely off mine show a bunch of them! – George Udosen Oct 1 '17 at 19:22
  • 1
    Can you please open Language Support from terminal, i.e. the command gnome-language-selector, and click the "Install / Remove Languages..." button. Please show us - by editing your question - any messages which appeared in terminal. – Gunnar Hjalmarsson Oct 1 '17 at 19:54
  • Close voters. HowTo answer completed... – Elder Geek Oct 2 '17 at 22:54
  • @ElderGeek: Hmm.. The OP's problem, if I understand it correctly, is that only English is visible in the Installed Languages window. – Gunnar Hjalmarsson Oct 3 '17 at 1:11

It appears that the root cause of this issue is that /usr/share/language-selector/data/languagelist is missing or incomplete. This file can be found in the package language-selector-common. A quick peek at dpkg -l *language-selector* shows that the following should have been installed by default.

ii  language-selector-common    0.165.4            all                Language selector for Ubuntu
ii  language-selector-gnome     0.165.4            all                Language selector for Ubuntu

sudo apt install --reinstall language-selector-common will likely do the trick. If not you may need to purge and then reinstall with

sudo apt-get purge language-selector-common be aware that this approach will remove both language-selector-common and language-selector-gnome so we have to reinstall both of them with

sudo apt-get install language-selector-common language-selector-gnome

Open Language support from the dash:


Click install/remove languages.

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Scroll to the language you wish to install, tick the box and click apply changes.

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Support for your chosen language will be installed:

Note that:

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Now that you've installed the language in your system, each user (this means you) can select it as an option in text entry settings as shown below:

text entry

Hit the + button to bring up the menu as shown below:


Now you can select French as a text entry language.


You may wish to also check the keyboard layout chart.

Tested on Ubuntu 16.04

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