Sometimes you may want to change the output language of commands. E.g. if you have to google for error messages or need the output for further use in scripts.
As seen in this post the output of commands differs depending on the configured system language.
E.g. the command
on a German installation looks like this:
Architektur: x86_64 CPU op-mode(s): 32-bit, 64-bit Byte-Reihenfolge: Little Endian CPU(s): 2 On-line CPU(s) list: 0,1 Thread(s) pro Kern: 1 Kern(e) pro Socket: 2 Socket(s): 1 Anbieterkennung: GenuineIntel Prozessorfamilie: 6 Modell: 23 Modellname: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU E7400 @ 2.80GHz Stepping: 10 CPU MHz: 2800.000 Maximale Taktfrequenz der CPU:2800,0000 Minimale Taktfrequenz der CPU:1603,0000 BogoMIPS: 5487.43 L1d Cache: 32K L1i Cache: 32K L2 Cache: 3072K
The same command on an English installation looks like this:
Architecture: x86_64 CPU op-mode(s): 32-bit, 64-bit Byte Order: Little Endian CPU(s): 2 On-line CPU(s) list: 0,1 Thread(s) per core: 1 Core(s) per socket: 2 Socket(s): 1 Vendor ID: GenuineIntel CPU family: 6 Model: 23 Model name: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU E7400 @ 2.80GHz Stepping: 10 CPU MHz: 2800.000 CPU max MHz: 2800.0000 CPU min MHz: 1603.0000 BogoMIPS: 5487.43 L1d cache: 32K L1i cache: 32K L2 cache: 3072K
Now, imagine you want to use the “CPU max MHz” value in a script for some reason. Depending on the system language you would have to look for different keywords (“Maximale Taktfrequenz der CPU” vs. “CPU max MHz”) and would have treat the value in different ways (as in German the decimal point is
, instead of
So, what’s the solution for this? To get the output of a command in the default language (which is English in most cases) just use
LC_ALL=C as a prefix. E.g.:
This gives the output in English on all linux systems.
If you want to set the default language for the whole terminal session or script use:
Regarding scripts that rely on output of linux commands it is good practice to do an
export LC_ALL=C at the beginning of a script. This way you are able to parse command output the same way regardless of system language settings.