[SWLUG] Getting a welsh system working.

Telsa Gwynne hobbit at aloss.ukuu.org.uk
Sat May 1 11:37:23 UTC 2004

On Fri, Apr 30, 2004 at 09:25:48PM +0100 or thereabouts,
linlist2 at nwjones.demon.co.uk wrote:
> I have just installed my SUSE 9.0 disks. [snip]
> Anyway is there a simple way of getting a the Welsh Language
> interface working on the system. I don't want to go installing
> Cymrux or something (good name that) as I think I am happy with
> SUSE 9.0, but where do I get the bits I need. If they aren't
> there already. If they are where do I find them.

Of all the distros to choose, you had to pick one where
Welsh support doesn't seem to be so simple. (You just say
"run in Welsh" in Fedora and I think in Mandrake, and use
some dpkg-configure thing in Debian and then say the same 

It will depend in part what versions of KDE, Gnome, Mozilla
and OO.o you have. And it will definitely depend on whether 
you have a Welsh locale on SuSE by default or whether you
have to create it. 

So this is a sort of run-down of things to try, in approximate
order. First, you need to establish whether the locale exists
in SuSE-as-shipped. If any of these work, then the locale exists, 
and it is just a matter of setting your locale to default to it. 

(You'll see that "cy" doesn't exist on my box and thus it defaults 
back to "C", or maybe to "en_*".)

  [hobbit at aloss hobbit]$ LANG="cy" date
  Sat May  1 11:51:01 BST 2004
  [hobbit at aloss hobbit]$ LANG="cy_GB" date
  Sad Mai  1 11:51:08 BST 2004
  [hobbit at aloss hobbit]$ LANG="cy_GB.UTF-8" date
  Sad Mai  1 11:51:15 BST 2004

If any of those come up with a Welsh date, then you have a
Welsh locale available. Of those, ideally, you want the last one, 
with the UTF-8 stuff. It's possible SUSE haven't gone UTF-8-happy 
yet, though. I don't know. 

If the UTF-8 locale doesn't exist yet, you will need to stick 
the glibc-i18n RPM on the machine (don't think it's there by 
default) and then run as root, 
  localedef -f UTF-8 -i cy_GB cy_GB.UTF-8

According to my notes, this should create the locale. This is
the one really important bit, and it's the bit I don't 
understand. If it doesn't work, I have no idea what to do next.
Which might be a problem. 

Oh yes. The glibc-i18n rpm is a SuSE-ism. Most other distros don't
split localedef out into a package by that name. (On Fedora
it is in glibc-common.) 

Once you have the locale existing, you can then just change your 
locale to cy_GB.UTF-8 and packages which came with Welsh 
translations as part of the package will start running in Welsh. 
That should include 'date' and 'ls' and Gnome. Assuming you have 
Gnome 2.4 or later. If you have Gnome 2.2, you may have partial 

How you change your locale on SuSE, I have no idea. There
is presumably a GUI tool for it. If there isn't, then there
may be a file called "i18n" in /etc somewhere: mine is in
/etc/sysconfig/i18n. That will affect the whole system. 
The corresponding "for one user only" file is ~/.i18n and
it has exactly the same structure. You may need to create it.
Mine says 

  [hobbit at aloss hobbit]$ cat .i18n

If there is no /etc/sysconfig/i18n, then ~/.i18n probably
won't work. So on to the last fallback: stick it into your
.bash_profile. I used to do this until I discovered .i18n.
I still have it there, just commented out: 

  $ grep LL .bash_profile
  # LC_ALL="cy_GB.UTF-8"          # Should be Welsh
  LC_COLLATE=C                    # Should be old-fashioned :)

  And "source .bash_profile"

(LC_ALL covers all the locale stuff, including -- I think --
LANG. LC_COLLATE is sort order. I like having the old 
ABC...XYZabc...xyz order so I wanted to keep it. AaBbCc
confuses me. You won't need to set LC_COLLATE unless you
like the old sort order too.) 

KDE does things differently from Gnome when it comes to 
translations. Rather than releasing each module with all
the translations included, it splits all the translations
for each language into separate rpms. So you may not have
it there. If you do not have a kde-i18n-cy*rpm, you need 
to install it. Then it will all Just Work, because it will
pick up the fact you want to run in it from whichever way
you used of setting your default locale.

I think both gdm and kdm give you choices of which language
to run a session in if you use a graphical login. 

I am not clear on OO.o at all. I have seen it running in
Welsh at the Eisteddfod, but I haven't found the packages

Mozilla wants you to install language packs: you go to
the appropriate part of the preferences and "download more
languages" or whatever it is. But those packs are for
specific releases of Mozilla. I don't know whether a
1.2 language pack will apply to a 1.4 Mozilla at all.

Gnome has complete translations for "core Gnome" for both
Gnome 2.4 and Gnome 2.6. They should come as part of
Gnome. Unless SuSE actually split them out to conform
with how KDE does it. I don't think they do.

Um. Good luck. If any of the above works or doesn't, I
would be very interested to know, btw :) 


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