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LOCALE(7)                           Linux Programmer's Manual                           LOCALE(7)



NAME
       locale - description of multilanguage support

SYNOPSIS
       #include <locale.h>

DESCRIPTION
       A  locale  is  a set of language and cultural rules.  These cover aspects such as language
       for messages, different character sets, lexicographic conventions, and so on.   A  program
       needs  to  be able to determine its locale and act accordingly to be portable to different
       cultures.

       The header <locale.h> declares data types, functions and macros which are useful  in  this
       task.

       The functions it declares are setlocale(3) to set the current locale, and localeconv(3) to
       get information about number formatting.

       There are different categories for locale information  a  program  might  need;  they  are
       declared  as macros.  Using them as the first argument to the setlocale(3) function, it is
       possible to set one of these to the desired locale:

       LC_ADDRESS (GNU extension, since glibc 2.2)
              Change settings that describe the formats (e.g., postal addresses) used to describe
              locations and geography-related items.  Applications that need this information can
              use nl_langinfo(3) to retrieve  nonstandard  elements,  such  as  _NL_ADDRESS_COUN‐
              TRY_NAME  (country  name,  in the language of the locale) and _NL_ADDRESS_LANG_NAME
              (language name, in the language of  the  locale),  which  return  strings  such  as
              "Deutschland"  and  "Deutsch"  (for German-language locales).  (Other element names
              are listed in <langinfo.h>.)

       LC_COLLATE
              This category governs the collation rules used for sorting and regular expressions,
              including  character  equivalence  classes  and  multicharacter collating elements.
              This  locale  category  changes  the  behavior  of  the  functions  strcoll(3)  and
              strxfrm(3),  which are used to compare strings in the local alphabet.  For example,
              the German sharp s is sorted as "ss".

       LC_CTYPE
              This category determines the interpretation of byte sequences as characters  (e.g.,
              single versus multibyte characters), character classifications (e.g., alphabetic or
              digit), and the behavior of character classes.  It  changes  the  behavior  of  the
              character handling and classification functions, such as isupper(3) and toupper(3),
              and the multibyte character functions such as mblen(3) or wctomb(3).

       LC_IDENTIFICATION (GNU extension, since glibc 2.2)
              Change settings that relate to the metadata for the locale.  Applications that need
              this  information  can use nl_langinfo(3) to retrieve nonstandard elements, such as
              _NL_IDENTIFICATION_TITLE  (title  of  this  locale  document)  and  _NL_IDENTIFICA‐
              TION_TERRITORY  (geographical  territory  to  which  this locale document applies),
              which might return strings such as "English locale for the USA" and "USA".   (Other
              element names are listed in <langinfo.h>.)

       LC_MONETARY
              This  category  determines the formatting used for monetary-related numeric values.
              This changes the information returned by localeconv(3),  which  describes  the  way
              numbers  are  usually  printed,  with  details such as decimal point versus decimal
              comma.  This information is internally used by the function strfmon(3).

       LC_MESSAGES
              This category affects the language in which messages  are  displayed  and  what  an
              affirmative  or  negative  answer  looks like.  The GNU C library contains the get‐
              text(3), ngettext(3), and rpmatch(3) functions to ease the use of this information.
              The  GNU  gettext  family  of functions also obey the environment variable LANGUAGE
              (containing a colon-separated list of locales) if the category is set  to  a  valid
              locale other than "C".  This category also affects the behavior of catopen(3).

       LC_MEASUREMENT (GNU extension, since glibc 2.2)
              Change  the settings relating to the measurement system in the locale (i.e., metric
              versus US customary units).  Applications can use nl_langinfo(3)  to  retrieve  the
              nonstandard _NL_MEASUREMENT_MEASUREMENT element, which returns a pointer to a char‐
              acter that has the value 1 (metric) or 2 (US customary units).

       LC_NAME (GNU extension, since glibc 2.2)
              Change settings that describe the formats used to  address  persons.   Applications
              that need this information can use nl_langinfo(3) to retrieve nonstandard elements,
              such as _NL_NAME_NAME_MR (general salutation for men) and _NL_NAME_NAME_MS (general
              salutation for women) elements, which return strings such as "Herr" and "Frau" (for
              German-language locales).  (Other element names are listed in <langinfo.h>.)

       LC_NUMERIC
              This category determines the formatting rules used for nonmonetary numeric  values—
              for example, the thousands separator and the radix character (a period in most Eng‐
              lish-speaking countries, but a comma in many other regions).  It affects  functions
              such as printf(3), scanf(3), and strtod(3).  This information can also be read with
              the localeconv(3) function.

       LC_PAPER (GNU extension, since glibc 2.2)
              Change the settings relating to the dimensions of the standard paper size (e.g., US
              letter  versus A4).  Applications that need the dimensions can obtain them by using
              nl_langinfo(3) to retrieve the  nonstandard  _NL_PAPER_WIDTH  and  _NL_PAPER_HEIGHT
              elements, which return int values specifying the dimensions in millimeters.

       LC_TELEPHONE (GNU extension, since glibc 2.2)
              Change  settings  that  describe  the  formats  to be used with telephone services.
              Applications that need this information can use nl_langinfo(3) to retrieve nonstan‐
              dard  elements, such as _NL_TELEPHONE_INT_PREFIX (international prefix used to call
              numbers in this locale), which returns a string such as "49" (for Germany).  (Other
              element names are listed in <langinfo.h>.)

       LC_TIME
              This  category  governs the formatting used for date and time values.  For example,
              most of Europe uses a 24-hour clock versus the 12-hour clock  used  in  the  United
              States.   The  setting  of  this category affects the behavior of functions such as
              strftime(3) and strptime(3).

       LC_ALL All of the above.

       If the second argument to setlocale(3) is an empty string, "", for the default locale,  it
       is determined using the following steps:

       1.     If there is a non-null environment variable LC_ALL, the value of LC_ALL is used.

       2.     If an environment variable with the same name as one of the categories above exists
              and is non-null, its value is used for that category.

       3.     If there is a non-null environment variable LANG, the value of LANG is used.

       Values about local numeric formatting is made available in a struct lconv returned by  the
       localeconv(3) function, which has the following declaration:

         struct lconv {

             /* Numeric (nonmonetary) information */

             char *decimal_point;     /* Radix character */
             char *thousands_sep;     /* Separator for digit groups to left
                                         of radix character */
             char *grouping; /* Each element is the number of digits in a
                                group; elements with higher indices are
                                further left.  An element with value CHAR_MAX
                                means that no further grouping is done.  An
                                element with value 0 means that the previous
                                element is used for all groups further left. */

             /* Remaining fields are for monetary information */

             char *int_curr_symbol;   /* First three chars are a currency symbol
                                         from ISO 4217.  Fourth char is the
                                         separator.  Fifth char is '\0'. */
             char *currency_symbol;   /* Local currency symbol */
             char *mon_decimal_point; /* Radix character */
             char *mon_thousands_sep; /* Like thousands_sep above */
             char *mon_grouping;      /* Like grouping above */
             char *positive_sign;     /* Sign for positive values */
             char *negative_sign;     /* Sign for negative values */
             char  int_frac_digits;   /* International fractional digits */
             char  frac_digits;       /* Local fractional digits */
             char  p_cs_precedes;     /* 1 if currency_symbol precedes a
                                         positive value, 0 if succeeds */
             char  p_sep_by_space;    /* 1 if a space separates currency_symbol
                                         from a positive value */
             char  n_cs_precedes;     /* 1 if currency_symbol precedes a
                                         negative value, 0 if succeeds */
             char  n_sep_by_space;    /* 1 if a space separates currency_symbol
                                         from a negative value */
             /* Positive and negative sign positions:
                0 Parentheses surround the quantity and currency_symbol.
                1 The sign string precedes the quantity and currency_symbol.
                2 The sign string succeeds the quantity and currency_symbol.
                3 The sign string immediately precedes the currency_symbol.
                4 The sign string immediately succeeds the currency_symbol. */
             char  p_sign_posn;
             char  n_sign_posn;
         };

   POSIX.1-2008 extensions to the locale API
       POSIX.1-2008  standardized  a number of extensions to the locale API, based on implementa‐
       tions that first appeared in version 2.3 of the  GNU  C  library.   These  extensions  are
       designed to address the problem that the traditional locale APIs do not mix well with mul‐
       tithreaded applications and with applications that must deal with multiple locales.

       The extensions take the form of new functions for creating and manipulating locale objects
       (newlocale(3),  freelocale(3),  duplocale(3),  and  uselocale(3))  and various new library
       functions with the suffix "_l" (e.g., toupper_l(3)) that extend  the  traditional  locale-
       dependent  APIs  (e.g.,  toupper(3))  to  allow  the specification of a locale object that
       should apply when executing the function.

ENVIRONMENT
       The following environment variable is used by  newlocale(3)  and  setlocale(3),  and  thus
       affects all localized programs:

       LOCPATH
              A  list of pathnames, separated by colons (':'), that should be used to find locale
              data.  If this variable is set, only the individual locale data files from  LOCPATH
              and the system default locale data path are used; any available locale archives are
              not used. The individual locale data files are searched under subdirectories  which
              depend  on  the  currently used locale. For example, when en_GB.UTF-8 is used for a
              category,  the  following  subdirectories  are  searched  for,   in   this   order:
              en_GB.UTF-8, en_GB.utf8, en_GB, en.UTF-8, en.utf8, and en.

CONFORMING TO
       POSIX.1-2001.

SEE ALSO
       locale(1), localedef(1), catopen(3), gettext(3), localeconv(3), mbstowcs(3), newlocale(3),
       ngettext(3),  nl_langinfo(3),  rpmatch(3),  setlocale(3),  strcoll(3),  strfmon(3),  strf‐
       time(3),   strxfrm(3),  uselocale(3),  wcstombs(3),  locale(5),  charsets(7),  unicode(7),
       utf-8(7)

COLOPHON
       This page is part of release 3.74 of the Linux man-pages project.  A  description  of  the
       project,  information  about  reporting  bugs, and the latest version of this page, can be
       found at http://www.kernel.org/doc/man-pages/.



Linux                                       2014-05-28                                  LOCALE(7)


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