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How To Remove Unnecessary Locales on Ubuntu

Ubuntu 18

In this article, we will dive into the process of removing unnecessary locales on Ubuntu. Locales are used in Linux systems to define which language the user interface displays, and they also support the configuration of date and time, number format, and character classification. However, having multiple locales that you do not need can take up valuable disk space. Therefore, it’s beneficial to remove the ones you don’t use.

Please note: It’s essential to be cautious when removing locales, as it may affect the functionality of certain applications or system components. Make sure to keep at least one locale that you need for your system to function properly.

Quick Answer

To remove unnecessary locales on Ubuntu, you can use the localepurge utility, which allows you to configure and remove unwanted locale files. Alternatively, you can manually edit the /etc/locale.gen file to comment out the locales you want to remove and regenerate the locales. Another option is to use BleachBit, a disk space cleaner that can remove unnecessary locales.

Using localepurge

localepurge is a handy utility that can help you remove unnecessary locale files from your system. Here’s how you can use it:

  1. Install localepurge Run the following command in your terminal to install localepurge:
    sudo apt-get install localepurge
    The sudo command is used to perform operations that require administrative or root permissions. apt-get install is the command to install new packages on Ubuntu.
  2. Configure localepurge After installation, run the following command to configure the locales you want to keep:
    sudo dpkg-reconfigure localepurge
    The dpkg-reconfigure command reconfigures packages after they have already been installed.
  3. Apply the changes Finally, reboot your system or run the following command to apply the changes:
    source /etc/default/locale
    The source command reads and executes commands from the file specified as its argument in the current shell environment.

Manually Removing Locales

If you prefer a more hands-on approach, you can manually remove locales by editing the /etc/locale.gen file.

  1. Open the /etc/locale.gen file Use a text editor like nano to open the file:
    sudo nano /etc/locale.gen
    nano is a simple, user-friendly text editor in the Linux terminal.
  2. Edit the file Comment out the lines corresponding to the locales you want to remove by adding a # at the beginning of each line.
  3. Save and exit After editing, save the file and exit the text editor.
  4. Regenerate the locales Run the following command to regenerate the locales based on the modified configuration file:
    sudo locale-gen
    The locale-gen command generates locales by invoking the localedef program to compile locale definition files.

Using BleachBit

BleachBit is a free and open-source disk space cleaner, privacy manager, and computer system optimizer. It can also be used to remove unnecessary locales.

  1. Install BleachBit You can install BleachBit from the Ubuntu Software or by running the following command in the terminal:
    sudo apt install bleachbit
  2. Launch BleachBit Launch BleachBit as root using the following command:
    sudo bleachbit
  3. Configure BleachBit In the Preferences menu, select the languages you want to keep under the Languages section. Under the System section, check the Localizations option.
  4. Preview and clean Preview the space that will be freed up by clicking the Preview button. Finally, click the Clean button to remove the unnecessary locales.

By following these steps, you can efficiently manage and remove unnecessary locales on your Ubuntu system. This not only saves disk space but also optimizes your system’s performance.

What are locales in Ubuntu?

Locales in Ubuntu are used to define the language of the user interface and support configuration settings for date and time, number format, and character classification.

Why should I remove unnecessary locales?

Removing unnecessary locales can help free up valuable disk space on your Ubuntu system. It can also optimize system performance by reducing the number of files that need to be processed.

Can removing locales affect the functionality of my system or applications?

Yes, removing locales can potentially affect the functionality of certain applications or system components. It is important to be cautious and keep at least one locale that is necessary for your system to function properly.

How can I use `localepurge` to remove unnecessary locales?

To use localepurge, you need to install it using the command sudo apt-get install localepurge. After installation, you can configure the locales you want to keep by running sudo dpkg-reconfigure localepurge. Finally, you can apply the changes by rebooting your system or running source /etc/default/locale.

What if I prefer to manually remove locales?

If you prefer a more hands-on approach, you can manually remove locales by editing the /etc/locale.gen file. Open the file using a text editor like nano, comment out the lines corresponding to the locales you want to remove by adding a # at the beginning of each line, save the file, and regenerate the locales using the command sudo locale-gen.

Is there an alternative tool I can use to remove unnecessary locales?

Yes, you can use BleachBit, a free and open-source disk space cleaner and system optimizer. Install BleachBit using the command sudo apt install bleachbit, launch it as root using sudo bleachbit, configure the languages you want to keep and check the Localizations option, preview the space that will be freed up, and click the Clean button to remove unnecessary locales.

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