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Czech and the national environment

Unix systems on FI allow for flexible national environment settings. The two basic options are language and encoding settings.

The language setting tells the programs how to speak to you. What language menus, error and other messages, and so on are in. The encoding setting defines in what encoding documents in the editor, menu listings and other text that the system displays.

You can find out your current settings by entering a command:


on the command line. This command displays a set of variables that define the behavior of the national environment (time format, phone numbers, monetary units, etc.). The format consists of two parts separated by a period, for example: cs_CZ.ISO8859-2.

The first part cs_CZ defines the Czech language. Other possibilities are, for example, en_US, sk_SK, fr_FR and many others. This part defines the language to be used to communicate with the user.

The second part ISO8859-2 defines the encoding according to which the texts are interpreted. Other options are for example: ISO-8859-1, UTF-8, koi8r and many others.

All the settings known to the system can be listed with the command

locale -a
If we want to change the settings to, for example, English language with UTF-8 encoding (which we found as an option in the previous command listing), we do it with the following command:
export LANG=en_US.UTF-8
in the appropriate file - if you are using Bash as your default shell and have not changed your default .bash_profile, then edit .bashrc.