LOCALE(1)                   General Commands Manual                  LOCALE(1)


     locale - character encoding and localization conventions


     locale [-a | -m]


     If the locale utility is invoked without any arguments, the current
     locale configuration is shown.

     The options are as follows:

     -a      Display a list of supported locales.

     -m      Display a list of supported character encodings.  On OpenBSD,
             this always returns UTF-8 only.

     A locale is a set of environment variables telling programs which
     character encoding, language and cultural conventions the user prefers.
     Programs in the OpenBSD base system ignore the locale except for the
     character encoding, and it is not recommended to use any of these
     variables except that the following non-default setting is supported as
     an option:

           export LC_CTYPE=en_US.UTF-8

     Programs installed from packages(7) may or may not change behavior
     according to the locale.  Many programs use the X/Open System Interfaces
     naming scheme for the contents of the variables listed below, which is

     The behavior of some library functions may also depend on the locale, and
     it does on most other operating systems.  The OpenBSD C library tends to
     avoid locale-dependent behavior except with respect to character
     encoding.  See the manual pages of individual functions for details.

     The character encoding locale LC_CTYPE instructs programs which character
     encoding to assume for text input and to use for text output.  A
     character encoding maps each character of a given character set to a byte
     sequence suitable for storing or transmitting the character.

     The OpenBSD base system supports two locales: the default of LC_CTYPE=C
     selects the US-ASCII character set and encoding, treating the bytes 0x80
     to 0xff as non-printable characters of application-specific meaning.
     LC_CTYPE=POSIX is an alias for LC_CTYPE=C.  The alternative of
     LC_CTYPE=en_US.UTF-8 selects the UTF-8 encoding of the Unicode character
     set, which is supported by many parts of the system, but not yet fully
     supported by all parts.

     If the value of LC_CTYPE ends in `.UTF-8', programs in the OpenBSD base
     system ignore the beginning of it, treating for example zh_CN.UTF-8
     exactly like en_US.UTF-8.  Programs from packages(7) may however make a
     difference.  If the value of LC_CTYPE is unsupported, programs and
     libraries in the OpenBSD base systems fall back to LC_CTYPE=C.

     Some programs, for example write(1), deliberately ignore the locale and
     always use US-ASCII only.  See the manual pages of individual programs
     for details.


     The locale configuration consists of the following environment variables:

     LC_ALL        Overrides all other LC_* variables below.

     LC_COLLATE    Intended to affect collation order.  It may for example
                   affect alphabetic sorting, regular expressions including
                   equivalence classes, and the strcoll(3) and strxfrm(3)

     LC_CTYPE      Intended to affect character encoding, character
                   classification, and case conversion.  For example, it is
                   used by mbtowc(3), iswctype(3), iswalnum(3), towlower(3),
                   fgetwc(3), fputwc(3), printf(3), and scanf(3).

     LC_MESSAGES   Intended to affect the output of informative and diagnostic
                   messages and the interpretation of interactive responses,
                   in particular regarding the language.  It is used by

     LC_MONETARY   Intended to affect monetary formatting.

     LC_NUMERIC    Intended to affect numeric, non-monetary formatting, for
                   example the radix character and thousands separators.  On
                   other operating systems, it may for example affect
                   printf(3), scanf(3), and strtod(3).

     LC_TIME       Intended to affect date and time formats.  It may for
                   example affect strftime(3).

     LANG          Fallback if any of the above is unset.

     NLSPATH       Used by catopen(3) to locate message catalogs.


             Character classification, case conversion, and character display
             width database in mklocale(1) binary output format used by

             Localization data for packages(7), in particular LC_MESSAGES
             catalogs in GNU gettext format.

             Localization data for packages(7), in particular LC_MESSAGES
             catalogs in catopen(3) format.

             Character classification, case conversion, and character display
             width database in mklocale(1) input format.

             Complete Unicode data used for generating the above database.

             The most important parts of Unicode data in a compact, more
             easily human-readable format.


     The locale utility exits 0 on success, and >0 if an error occurs.


     mklocale(1), setlocale(3), Unicode::UCD(3p)

     Related ports: converters/libiconv, devel/gettext, textproc/icu4c


     With respect to locale support, most libraries and programs in the
     OpenBSD base system, including the locale utility, implement a subset of
     the IEEE Std 1003.1-2008 ("POSIX.1") specification.


     The locale utility was first standardized in the X/Open Portability Guide
     Issue 4 ("XPG4").

     It was rewritten from scratch for OpenBSD 5.4 during the 2013 Toronto


     Stefan Sperling <stsp@openbsd.org> with contributions from Philip
     Guenther <guenther@openbsd.org> and Jeremie Courreges-Anglas
     <jca@openbsd.org>.  This manual page was written by Ingo Schwarze


     The locale concept is inadequate for inter-process communication.  Two
     processes exchanging text, for example over a network, using sockets, in
     shared memory, or even using plain text files always need a protocol-
     specific way to negotiate the character encoding used.

     The list of supported locales is perpetually incomplete.

OpenBSD 6.4                    October 26, 2016                    OpenBSD 6.4

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