Query or Set Aspects of the Locale
Get details of or set aspects of the locale for the R process.
Sys.getlocale(category = "LC_ALL") Sys.setlocale(category = "LC_ALL", locale = "")
- character string. The following categories should
always be supported:
"LC_TIME". Some systems (not Windows) will also support
- character string. A valid locale name on the system in
""(the default) will pick up the default locale for the system.
The locale describes aspects of the internationalization of a program.
Initially most aspects of the locale of R are set to
is the default for the C language and reflects North-American usage).
"LC_COLLATE", which allow the
use of a different character set and alphabetic
comparisons in that character set (including the use of
"LC_MONETARY" (for use by
"LC_TIME" may affect
the behaviour of
and functions which use them (but not
The first seven categories described here are those specified by
"LC_MESSAGES" will be
"C" on systems that do not
support message translation, and is not supported on Windows. Trying
to use an unsupported category is an error for
Note that setting category
"LC_ALL" sets only
Attempts to set an invalid locale are ignored. There may or may not be a warning, depending on the OS.
Attempts to change the character set (by
Sys.setlocale("LC_TYPE", ), if that implies a different
character set) during a session may not work and are likely to lead to
Note that the LANGUAGE environment variable has precedence over
"LC_MESSAGES" in selecting the language for message translation
on most R platforms.
On platforms where ICU is used for collation the locale used for
collation can be reset by
icuSetCollate). Except on
Windows, the initial setting is taken from the
category, and it is reset when this is changed by a call to
A character string of length one describing the locale in use (after
setting for Sys.setlocale), or an empty character string if the
current locale settings are invalid or NULL if locale
information is unavailable.For category = "LC_ALL" the details of the string are
system-specific: it might be a single locale name or a set of locale
names separated by "/" (Solaris, OS X) or ";"
(Windows, Linux). For portability, it is best to query categories
individually: it is not necessarily the case that the result of
foo <- Sys.getlocale() can be used in
Sys.setlocale("LC_ALL", locale = foo).
Changing the values of locale categories whilst R is running ought to be noticed by the OS services, and usually is but exceptions have been seen (usually in collation services).
"LC_NUMERIC" may cause R to function
anomalously, so gives a warning. Input conversions
in R itself are unaffected, but the reading and writing of ASCII
save files will be, as may packages. Setting it temporarily on a Unix-alike to produce graphical or text
output may work well enough, but
often preferable. Almost all the output routines used by R itself under Windows ignore
the setting of
"LC_NUMERIC" since they make use of the Trio
library which is not internationalized.
l10n_info gives some summary facts about the locale and
The R Installation and Administration manual for background on locales and how to find out locale names on your system.
Sys.getlocale() Sys.getlocale("LC_TIME") ## Not run: # Sys.setlocale("LC_TIME", "de") # Solaris: details are OS-dependent # Sys.setlocale("LC_TIME", "de_DE.utf8") # Modern Linux etc. # Sys.setlocale("LC_TIME", "de_DE.UTF-8") # ditto # Sys.setlocale("LC_TIME", "de_DE") # OS X, in UTF-8 # Sys.setlocale("LC_TIME", "German") # Windows # ## End(Not run) Sys.getlocale("LC_PAPER") # may or may not be set ## Not run: # Sys.setlocale("LC_COLLATE", "C") # turn off locale-specific sorting, # # usually, but not on all platforms## End(Not run)