Chapter22.Localization - i18n/L10n Usage and Setup

Contributed by Andrey Chernov.
Rewritten by Michael C. Wu.


FreeBSD is a distributed project with users and contributors located all over the world. As such, FreeBSD supports localization into many languages, allowing users to view, input, or process data in non-English languages. One can choose from most of the major languages, including, but not limited to: Chinese, German, Japanese, Korean, French, Russian, and Vietnamese.

The term internationalization has been shortened to i18n, which represents the number of letters between the first and the last letters of internationalization. L10n uses the same naming scheme, but from localization. The i18n/L10n methods, protocols, and applications allow users to use languages of their choice.

This chapter discusses the internationalization and localization features of FreeBSD. After reading this chapter, you will know:

  • How locale names are constructed.

  • How to set the locale for a login shell.

  • How to configure the console for non-English languages.

  • How to configure Xorg for different languages.

  • How to find i18n-compliant applications.

  • Where to find more information for configuring specific languages.

Before reading this chapter, you should: