Changing the message language for Bash
The system language of my Ubuntu installation is set to German. Per default this also means that my command line output is in German if the application supports it. This can be a bit of a hindrance when developing, because error messages and warnings will also be in German which makes it harder to search for solutions – most discussions in help forums and blogs are in English.
So let's change the terminal language. In your
~/.bashrc file add the following lines:
unset LC_ALL export LC_MESSAGES=C
LC_ALL had a value, it would overwrite the setting for
LC_MESSAGES, so it has to be unset first. I first tried setting
LC_ALL=C, but this had the undesired side effect of certain keys behaving differently. I have a German keyboard with QWERTZ layout, but keys like “ä”, “ö”, “ü” suddenly did different things. I can only assume I would have run into some other issues as well. So keep it simple and just change the messages.
The next terminal you open will have the setting applied. Also note that this only affects your terminal and no other applications – except those launched from said terminal.
To check your language settings you can use
locale. My output using Bash looks like this:
$ locale LANG=de_DE.UTF-8 LANGUAGE=de_DE:en LC_CTYPE="de_DE.UTF-8" LC_NUMERIC=de_DE.UTF-8 LC_TIME=de_DE.UTF-8 LC_COLLATE="de_DE.UTF-8" LC_MONETARY=de_DE.UTF-8 LC_MESSAGES=C LC_PAPER=de_DE.UTF-8 LC_NAME=de_DE.UTF-8 LC_ADDRESS=de_DE.UTF-8 LC_TELEPHONE=de_DE.UTF-8 LC_MEASUREMENT=de_DE.UTF-8 LC_IDENTIFICATION=de_DE.UTF-8 LC_ALL=
Side note: I also tried
LC_MESSAGES=en_US.UTF-8, but that didn't work – no idea why. I also didn't look further into it since I have a working solution.