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SETLOCALE(3)               Linux Programmer's Manual              SETLOCALE(3)

NAME
       setlocale - set the current locale

SYNOPSIS
       #include <locale.h>

       char *setlocale(int category, const char *locale);

DESCRIPTION
       The  setlocale() function is used to set or query the program's current
       locale.

       If locale is not NULL, the program's current locale is modified accord-
       ing  to the arguments.  The argument category determines which parts of
       the program's current locale should be modified.

       LC_ALL for all of the locale.

       LC_COLLATE
              for regular expression matching (it determines  the  meaning  of
              range expressions and equivalence classes) and string collation.

       LC_CTYPE
              for regular expression matching, character classification,  con-
              version,  case-sensitive  comparison,  and  wide character func-
              tions.

       LC_MESSAGES
              for localizable natural-language messages.

       LC_MONETARY
              for monetary formatting.

       LC_NUMERIC
              for number formatting (such as the decimal point and  the  thou-
              sands separator).

       LC_TIME
              for time and date formatting.

       The  argument  locale is a pointer to a character string containing the
       required setting of category.  Such a string  is  either  a  well-known
       constant  like "C" or "da_DK" (see below), or an opaque string that was
       returned by another call of setlocale().

       If locale is "", each part of the locale that should be modified is set
       according  to  the  environment variables.  The details are implementa-
       tion-dependent.  For glibc, first (regardless of category),  the  envi-
       ronment  variable  LC_ALL  is  inspected, next the environment variable
       with the same name as the category (LC_COLLATE, LC_CTYPE,  LC_MESSAGES,
       LC_MONETARY,  LC_NUMERIC, LC_TIME) and finally the environment variable
       LANG.  The first existing environment variable is used.  If  its  value
       is  not a valid locale specification, the locale is unchanged, and set-
       locale() returns NULL.

       The locale "C" or "POSIX" is a portable locale; its LC_CTYPE part  cor-
       responds to the 7-bit ASCII character set.

       A  locale  name  is  typically  of the form language[_territory][.code-
       set][@modifier], where language is an ISO 639 language code,  territory
       is an ISO 3166 country code, and codeset is a character set or encoding
       identifier like ISO-8859-1 or UTF-8.   For  a  list  of  all  supported
       locales, try "locale -a", cf. locale(1).

       If locale is NULL, the current locale is only queried, not modified.

       On  startup of the main program, the portable "C" locale is selected as
       default.  A program may be made portable to all locales by calling:

           setlocale(LC_ALL, "");

       after program initialization, by  using  the  values  returned  from  a
       localeconv(3)  call  for  locale-dependent  information,  by  using the
       multi-byte  and  wide  character  functions  for  text  processing   if
       MB_CUR_MAX  >  1,  and  by  using strcoll(3), wcscoll(3) or strxfrm(3),
       wcsxfrm(3) to compare strings.

RETURN VALUE
       A successful call to setlocale() returns an opaque string  that  corre-
       sponds to the locale set.  This string may be allocated in static stor-
       age.  The string returned is such that  a  subsequent  call  with  that
       string  and  its associated category will restore that part of the pro-
       cess's locale.  The return value is NULL if the request cannot be  hon-
       ored.

CONFORMING TO
       C89, C99, POSIX.1-2001.

NOTES
       Linux  (that  is, glibc) supports the portable locales "C" and "POSIX".
       In the good old days there used to be support for the European  Latin-1
       "ISO-8859-1"  locale  (e.g.,  in  libc-4.5.21 and libc-4.6.27), and the
       Russian  "KOI-8"  (more   precisely,   "koi-8r")   locale   (e.g.,   in
       libc-4.6.27),     so    that    having    an    environment    variable
       LC_CTYPE=ISO-8859-1  sufficed  to  make  isprint(3)  return  the  right
       answer.   These  days non-English speaking Europeans have to work a bit
       harder, and must install actual locale files.

SEE ALSO
       locale(1),  localedef(1),  isalpha(3),  localeconv(3),  nl_langinfo(3),
       rpmatch(3), strcoll(3), strftime(3), charsets(7), locale(7)

COLOPHON
       This  page  is  part of release 3.05 of the Linux man-pages project.  A
       description of the project, and information about reporting  bugs,  can
       be found at http://www.kernel.org/doc/man-pages/.

GNU                               1999-07-04                      SETLOCALE(3)

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