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Python locale error: unsupported locale setting

Posted by: admin November 1, 2017 Leave a comment

Questions:

Why do I get the following error when doing this in python:

>>> import locale
>>> print str( locale.getlocale() )
(None, None)
>>> locale.setlocale(locale.LC_ALL, 'de_DE')
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/locale.py", line 531, in setlocale
    return _setlocale(category, locale)
locale.Error: unsupported locale setting

This works with other locales like fr or nl as well. I’m using Ubuntu 11.04.

Update: Doing the following did not yield anything:

dpkg-reconfigure locales
perl: warning: Setting locale failed.
perl: warning: Please check that your locale settings:
    LANGUAGE = (unset),
    LC_ALL = (unset),
    LC_CTYPE = "UTF-8",
    LANG = (unset)
    are supported and installed on your system.
perl: warning: Falling back to the standard locale ("C").
locale: Cannot set LC_CTYPE to default locale: No such file or directory
locale: Cannot set LC_ALL to default locale: No such file or directory
Answers:

Run following commands

export LC_ALL="en_US.UTF-8"
export LC_CTYPE="en_US.UTF-8"
sudo dpkg-reconfigure locales

It will solve this. (I was not able to solve my problem with other solutions. This one works for me)

Questions:
Answers:

You probably do not have any de_DE locale available.

You can view a list of available locales with the locale -a command.
For example, on my machine:

$ locale -a
C
C.UTF-8
en_AG
en_AG.utf8
en_AU.utf8
en_BW.utf8
en_CA.utf8
en_DK.utf8
en_GB.utf8
en_HK.utf8
en_IE.utf8
en_IN
en_IN.utf8
en_NG
en_NG.utf8
en_NZ.utf8
en_PH.utf8
en_SG.utf8
en_US.utf8
en_ZA.utf8
en_ZM
en_ZM.utf8
en_ZW.utf8
it_CH.utf8
it_IT.utf8
POSIX

Note that if you want to set the locale to it_IT you must also specify the .utf8:

>>> import locale
>>> locale.setlocale(locale.LC_ALL, 'it_IT')   # error!
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/locale.py", line 539, in setlocale
    return _setlocale(category, locale)
locale.Error: unsupported locale setting
>>> locale.setlocale(locale.LC_ALL, 'it_IT.utf8')
'it_IT.utf8'

To install a new locale use:

sudo apt-get install language-pack-id

where id is the language code (taken from here)

After you have installed the locale you should follow Julien Palard advice and reconfigure the locales with:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure locales

Questions:
Answers:

Due to this link, it is solving by entering this command:

export LC_ALL=C

Questions:
Answers:

More permanent solution would be to fill the missing values, in the output shown by command: locale

Output from locale is:

 $ locale
LANG=en_US.utf8
LANGUAGE=
LC_CTYPE="en_US.utf8"
LC_NUMERIC=es_ES.utf8
LC_TIME=es_ES.utf8
LC_COLLATE="en_US.utf8"
LC_MONETARY=es_ES.utf8
LC_MESSAGES="en_US.utf8"
LC_PAPER=es_ES.utf8
LC_NAME="en_US.utf8"
LC_ADDRESS="en_US.utf8"
LC_TELEPHONE="en_US.utf8"
LC_MEASUREMENT=es_ES.utf8
LC_IDENTIFICATION="en_US.utf8"
LC_ALL=

To Fill the missing values edit ~/.bashrc :

 $ vim ~/.bashrc

Add the following lines after the above command (suppose you want en_US.UTF-8 to be your language):

export LANGUAGE="en_US.UTF-8"
export LC_ALL="en_US.UTF-8"

If this file is ReadOnly you would be needing to follow the steps mentioned by The GeekyBoy. The answer given by Dr Beco in Superuser has details relating to saving readonly files.

After saving the file do:

$ source ~/.bashrc

Now you wont be facing the same problem anymore.

Questions:
Answers:

If you’re on a Debian (or Debian fork), you can add locales using :

dpkg-reconfigure locales

Questions:
Answers:

One of the above answer provides the solution:

export LC_ALL="en_US.UTF-8"
export LC_CTYPE="en_US.UTF-8"
sudo dpkg-reconfigure locales

The problem with above solution is that it has to be done on the linux shell. However if you are providing your code to work on the client machine then this is a bad approach.
I also tried executing the above commands using os.system(), but still it doesn’t work.

Solution that worked for me is

locale.setlocale(locale.LC_ALL,'en_US.UTF-8')

Questions:
Answers:

On Arch Linux I was able to fix this by running sudo locale-gen

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Answers:

For the record, I had this same problem, but none of the solutions worked.
I had upgraded my computer and migrated my PC. I had a a mixed locale english and spanish:

$ locale
LANG=en_US.utf8
LANGUAGE=
LC_CTYPE="en_US.utf8"
LC_NUMERIC=es_ES.utf8
LC_TIME=es_ES.utf8
LC_COLLATE="en_US.utf8"
LC_MONETARY=es_ES.utf8
LC_MESSAGES="en_US.utf8"
LC_PAPER=es_ES.utf8
LC_NAME="en_US.utf8"
LC_ADDRESS="en_US.utf8"
LC_TELEPHONE="en_US.utf8"
LC_MEASUREMENT=es_ES.utf8
LC_IDENTIFICATION="en_US.utf8"
LC_ALL=

But, on my new Debian installation, I just selected english as locale.
Which finally worked was to reconfigure locales package to add and generate spanish too.

$ grep -v "#" /etc/locale.gen 
en_US.UTF-8 UTF-8
es_ES.UTF-8 UTF-8

Questions:
Answers:
  • run this command
    locale to get what locale is used. Such as:

LANG=en_US.UTF-8
LANGUAGE=en_US:en
LC_CTYPE=zh_CN.UTF-8
LC_NUMERIC=”en_US.UTF-8″
LC_TIME=”en_US.UTF-8″
LC_COLLATE=”en_US.UTF-8″
LC_MONETARY=”en_US.UTF-8″
LC_MESSAGES=”en_US.UTF-8″
LC_PAPER=”en_US.UTF-8″
LC_NAME=”en_US.UTF-8″
LC_ADDRESS=”en_US.UTF-8″
LC_TELEPHONE=”en_US.UTF-8″
LC_MEASUREMENT=”en_US.UTF-8″
LC_IDENTIFICATION=”en_US.UTF-8″
LC_ALL=

  • search for the listed locales list in first step in /etc/locale-gen file. Uncomment to used ones
  • run locale-gen to generate newly added locales
Questions:
Answers:

This error can occur, if you have just added a new locale. You need to restart the python interactive shell (quit() and python) to get access to it.

Questions:
Answers:

In trying to get python to spit out names in specific locale I landed here with same problem.

In pursuing the answer, things got a little mystical I find.

I found that python code.

import locale
print locale.getdefaultlocale()
>> ('en_DK', 'UTF-8')

And indeed locale.setlocale(locale.LC_TIME, 'en_DK.UTF-8') works

Using tips here I tested further to see what is available using python code

import locale
loc_list = [(a,b) for a,b in locale.locale_alias.items() ]
loc_size = len(loc_list)
print loc_size,'entries'

for loc in loc_list:
    try:
        locale.setlocale(locale.LC_TIME, loc[1])
        print 'SUCCES set {:12} ({})'.format(loc[1],loc[0])
    except:
        pass

which yields

858 entries
SUCCES set en_US.UTF-8  (univ)
SUCCES set C            (c.ascii)
SUCCES set C            (c.en)
SUCCES set C            (posix-utf2)
SUCCES set C            (c)
SUCCES set C            (c_c)
SUCCES set C            (c_c.c)
SUCCES set en_IE.UTF-8  ([email protected])
SUCCES set en_US.UTF-8  ([email protected])
SUCCES set C            (posix)
SUCCES set C            (english_united-states.437)
SUCCES set en_US.UTF-8  (universal)

Of which only above is working! But the en_DK.UTF-8 is not in this list, though it works!?!? What??
And the python generated locale list do contain a lot of combos of da and DK, which I am looking for, but again no UTF-8 for da/DK…

I am on a Point Linux distro (Debian based), and here locale says amongst other LC_TIME="en_DK.UTF-8", which I know works, but not the locale I need.

locale -a says

C
C.UTF-8
en_DK.utf8
en_US.utf8
POSIX

So definitely need to install other locale, which i did by editing /etc/locale.gen, uncomment needed line da_DK.UTF-8 UTF-8 and run command locale-gen

Now locale.setlocale(locale.LC_TIME, 'da_DK.UTF-8') works too, and I can get my localized day and month names.

My Conclision:

Python : locale.locale_alias is not at all helpfull in finding available locales!!!

Linux : It is quite easy to get locale list and install new locale. A lot of help available.

Windows : I have been investigating a little, but nothing conclusive. There are though posts leading to answers, but I have not felt the urge to pursue it.

Questions:
Answers:

In my opinion, the easiest way to setup the local locale in python{,3} is:

>>> import locale
>>> locale.setlocale(locale.LC_ALL, '')
'de_DE.UTF-8'

Then, locale aware stuff just works, if you’re on a decent linux distro, and should work on binary distributions of the other OSes as well (or that’s a bug IMHO).

>>> import datetime as dt
>>> print(dt.date.today().strftime("%A %d. %B %Y"))
Sonntag 11. Dezember 2016