Unified Locale Settings
by clem 25

Screenshot from 2014-03-03 12:55:45

I’ve never been happy with Locale Settings in Linux Mint and we finally have a solution coming up. Of course, the installer would let you choose your language and region and as long as you only needed one things worked well. But when it came to users dealing with multiple languages (developers and translators in particular), or multi-user environments with different users speaking different languages, well things were less than satisfactory. The provided tools were confusing, clunky, Ubuntu-specific and DE-specific (you could only graphically configure your locale in KDE and Cinnamon).

Going forward, the Ubuntu “Language Support” tool and the Cinnamon “Regional Settings” will be replaced by a new Mint tool, in an effort to unify locale settings for the following editions:

  • Linux Mint Cinnamon Edition
  • Linux Mint MATE Edition
  • Linux Mint Xfce Edition
  • LMDE Cinnamon Edition
  • LMDE MATE Edition

Note that the tool will also work in the KDE Edition but as it might duplicate KDE features it probably won’t be installed by default.

MDM will also receive modifications to properly integrate with all of this.

25 thoughts on “Unified Locale Settings

  1. Ondřej Kolín Mar 3,2014 17:10

    Language selection is offen question on our forums, hope this helps :-)

  2. Oleg Pisarev Mar 3,2014 18:16

    Related picture looks great! Thanks for making Mint more and more beautiful!

  3. Killer de Bug Mar 3,2014 18:18

    Great! Looking forward to see this tool.

  4. Mani Mar 3,2014 20:40

    Any chance this gets implemented to cinnamon directly? As i am on Arch Linux i would also like to have this feature.

  5. Kirk M Mar 4,2014 02:04

    Regional Settings also includes the ability to change the function of keyboard keys, like disabling CAPS Lock for instance among many other keyboard options. I hope this won’t be eliminated when Regional Settings is replaced.

    Otherwise, this looks very good.

  6. John Mar 4,2014 14:28

    Live in Norway and here we got a cripled dialect called “nynorsk” (new norwegian)?! Itś true!

    In the “Petra” version I could choose “bokmål” the real norwegian, but now the team have seem to forgot it.

    Deleted all windows and going all in linux. Happy days so far

  7. Thomas Mar 7,2014 01:26

    To be honest, I like the way it is now. I think it is important that people should still be able to set up the keyboard language separately from the system language. For example, the way it has been is good for people who have a keyboard or laptop from some other country, but actually use another system language on a daily basis…it is also good for people whose system language is their native language, but who need to write in another language. So they just change their keyboard regional setting, so that they have all the letters and symbols of the language they need to write (let’s say Greek or Russian or Chinese etc…), without having to change the whole system language, as the translations are often miserable or missing…

  8. Thomas Mar 7,2014 01:31

    By the way, for a live system user it would be a hassle to have to go to the language settings to change the system language AND ADDITIONALLY to the keyboard settings to change the keyboard layout…even worse, having to log out and back in for changes to take place… please don’t do that…it would be 3 things to do instead of just 1 and would take additional time away!

  9. Aundre Mar 7,2014 01:38


    In the Linux Mint 17 roadmap, I did not see that you will fix the following issue that made Linux Mint 16 not usable for me and a lot of other people. Therefore, I am writing here hoping that this time you and your team will not forget to fix the following:

    In Linux Mint 16 there was the problem with the folder name where the installation files were placed because of some Ubuntu bug. So the boot files were placed in ubuntu instead of Linuxmint or so. And there was some issue with UEFI as a result. So all of that excluded me from enjoying Linux Mint 16.

    So PLEASE make sure that this problem does not occur or gets circumvented before releasing Linux Mint 17! THANK YOU :-)

  10. Arend Rietkerk Mar 7,2014 03:09

    Will there be a GLOBALITY option to overide the locality ?

    Say UTC as time, presented in an ISO-8601 format.
    Enhanced with metric weights and measures regardless of the interaction language or
    the currency symbol ?

  11. kneekoo Mar 13,2014 19:53

    Oh, I love it, I love it, I love it! :D


  12. C Goto May 15,2014 08:53

    As one of the 99% of English speakers/readers living abroad, it is surprising how hard Microsoft made things for those of us who have to figure out how to turn a locally bought computer into our own language and/or English (the MS muppets didnt bother using Flags or ABC` to write the names of the countries in the language menu, so you had to be able to read Urdu, chinese or Korean to be able to determine how to change the language and/or find out which your language is [its still that way now]).
    You literally have to have a translator on hand at all times for the first few weeks, even in Windows 8; so it is wonderful to be able to download LinuxMint 17 in English and add on a regional language for other people using the computer/s.

  13. 52ROSt May 20,2014 15:27

    I am looking forward very much to these new local settings. I just hope it allows me to set language, region, and various number formats independently. I write mostly English and Japanese, live in Japan, use because it is internationally best understood date format: dd-mmm-yyyy and number format with space as thousand separator and a decimal point.

  14. Edwin Jun 2,2014 03:54

    This tool looks great, but just like 52ROSt, I need to be able to set a different language and locale system. I prefer to US English as a system language, but as I work as a freelance developer, it can be very helpful to be able to set the system to the locale my current client is using for testing.

  15. Bruce Wagner Jun 10,2014 08:49

    Just because I am physically located in Bangkok…. does not mean I want my system language to be set to Thai. My calendar comes up with the months and years in THAI language. Why?

  16. Brian Chandler Jun 14,2014 18:01

    Brilliant: we have invented a word… GLOBALE, and this is what we need. Look, the vast majority of the world’s population doesn’t speak, and can’t even read Thai. I certainly can’t. This does not mean that a Thai option is nonessential. Probably a very similar majority of the world’s population needs a LOCALE: for people who live in country X, use Xian money, speak Xian, write dates in the Xian format, and however much they hope to communicate with people from other parts of the world, for everyday purposes the LOCALE is perfect.

    But the minority of us, who knows, perhaps just equalling the population of Thailand, live in country A, speak B, and want to choose our own formats for more or less everything. This really should not be a problem… I just installed Mint 17, and it asked me where I am. What an utterly stupid, misconceived question? I mean, it would not be stupid, if it were not based on the false assumption that where I am says everything you need to know. All that is needed is one extra option: GLOBALE, not Locale.

    To Bruce Wagner: if you right-click on the menu bar clock, and set the following string, you should at least get ISO date-time: %Y-%m-%d %H:%M

  17. traveller Jun 17,2014 05:16

    My calendar is in Thai! If i change my location to an english speaking one, then the clock is screwed up. Stupid!

  18. Panos Jun 28,2014 07:04

    It’s a good improvement, however it’s important for many people to be able to set system language and country locales separately. This can’t be done directly (you need to dig to /etc/default/locale and .dmrc files. It would be nice to be able to set specific locales from GUI even as an advanced setting option.

  19. Andy Jul 28,2014 10:36

    Having been using Linux Mint 17 for a little while now, let me first say thanks for doing such a fantastic job. Not only is Linux Mint the best Linux Distro I’ve tried (certainly from a usability without spending a whole day customizing stuff perspective), but it’s also far more useable than Windows and OSX for me.

    However, I still think the locale screen needs more work, because since Linux Mint 17, installing Japanese language for INPUT is a major pain in the ass – especially if you are using another language as the default system language.

    Previously all I had to do was install mozc and it just worked. Now I need to install IBUS, Anthy and mozc to get reasonable Japanese input, and even then it seems a bit quirky compared to how it was before.

    Also, even though I set my timezone as Japan time, the keyboard input settings screen seems to think I’m in Europe, since I’m not offered Japanese until I select “show all languages” instead of just those for my domain.

    To make things easier, I think you should merge the keyboard input settings with the locale so that when users install a language, they can also input text using that language. Perhaps there could be a checkbox, or sub-setting for each language that allows the input method to be selected from compatible or recommended input methods?

  20. Mig_ Aug 13,2014 12:46

    The small panel calendar is in German, while my language is set to English..

  21. Garry Aug 13,2014 19:27

    I live in Italy but I don’t speak the language. For this reason it’s highly annoying to have my calendar in Italian whilst everything else is in English.

    Seems like the only way to get this right is to go to the settings to change my location to say London (or any other english speaking city) and then manually adjust the time.

    This works but it surely makes me think why this needs to be so difficult. And I’m sure I’m not the only person living in another country and yet wishing to keep my OS in another language…

  22. Kassandra Aug 27,2014 14:32

    I live in the Isle of Man .. how could it be made possible for a translation by myself into Linux Mint Cinnamon for manx, please ?

  23. Thierry K Oct 13,2014 19:44

    I totally agree with Arend Rietkerk

    Will there be a GLOBALITY option to overide the locality ?

    Say UTC as time, presented in an ISO-8601 format.
    Enhanced with metric weights and measures regardless of the interaction language or
    the currency symbol ?

    It would be great to finally have a solution for setting up the locale values that would overrule any other parameter set by something else than the user him/herself.

    Clem, could you please let us know the status on this one ?

  24. danilo dantonio Mar 6,2015 19:18

    I cordially greet all.

    I am using Linux (Ubuntu, LinuxMint) for a long time and I find it extremely well. Now I would like to see the date of this calendar on my computer:


    Someone could help me?

    Do you can suggest me someone who could make this software change?

    I thank as of now,

    Danilo Dantonio

  25. David Mar 25,2015 03:56

    You guys need to completely disentangle the language settings, the clock settings, and the calendar settings. The locale should set the default formats, but I should be able to go into a date format tab and choose ISO 8601 or whatever format I want. I should be able to switch to metric measurements, 24hr clock, a Monday start calendar if I choose, and not be locked into a middle-endian, 12-hour, horse and buggy system just because that’s the “official” way.

    The common “soluton” people bring forth is to find a locale that has the settings I want, and use that. Well, first of all, locale changes the currency, so that’s out. Second, They all say “find a locale”, but nobody ever publishes a list, so there’s no way to find one. Thirdly, why can’t I tell the computer that I want X,Y, and Z and the computer can look up the locale that fits rather than the other way around?

    Or better yet, let me tell the computer what formats I want, and it can just do it that way.

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