British English - HOW TO
(Other Languages, too)

by Davecs

There are variations of English around the world. Computers by default tend to use American English. If you are installing PCLinuxOS and you wish to use British English, here is what you need to do:

  1. Before you run the Live CD:

    This applies to PCLinuxOS versions .93 and probably later, which boot to "Grub". Earlier versions or re-masters may boot to a "boot:_" prompt, if so, skip to 1a.

    When presented with the Grub screen, select the line appropriate to your computer, and press the "E" key twice. Press the left arrow key until you locate "keyb=us" and change it to read "keyb=uk". Press ENTER to accept the change, then "B" to boot. Go ahead to 2.

    1. If your CD is version .92 or earlier, or is a re-master designed to boot from a prompt, when presented with this prompt:


      Do not just press ENTER. As a minimum, you need to type in:

      livecd keyb=uk as well as any other "cheat codes" needed for your system to boot properly.

  2. Post install: Change your time zone.

    Do not use the clock at the bottom right of the screen for this. Instead, use PCLinuxOS Control Centre > System tab. Select the correct time zone and if the time changes to something silly, change it back manually. If you have broadband, after pressing OK to accept the change, go into the same screen and check the box that says Enable ntp (network time protocol). This will synchronise your time to the Internet clock. Sometimes when you change time settings the screen goes black for a few seconds, if this happens don't panic!

  3. Change your system language

    This is also found on the PCLinuxOS Control Centre System tab. It is completely straightforward; just follow the prompts.

  4. Install KDE Language options

    You can run Synaptic whilst on the PCLinuxOS Control Centre System tab. You should add the package kde-i18n-en_GB. If you don't have broadband you can manage without it.

  5. Now set up your personal KDE desktop for British English

    Go to KDE Control Centre > Accessibility > Region and Language. On the Locale tab you can select your Country or Region as United Kingdom. If you installed kde-i18n-en_GB, you can also click Add Language and add British English (and remove US English). This changes "Trash" to the rather more civilised "Wastebin!" Check the other four tabs, they should all be good because you chose the United Kingdom locale. The only disappointment to me is that you have to choose Imperial or Metric measures. I prefer to use Imperial for lengths (inches etc) but metric for temperatures (Celsius). I wish you could split them up but you cannot!

Anyway, that's it. You would have to repeat 5. for every user on your system.


A similar method can be used for many locales, you just have to find out what keyboard and which version of kde-i18n-xx_XX to use! For languages other than English, you should also use Synaptic to install aspell-xx, where xx indicates your language. That way, you will be using the appropriate dictionary to match the language you chose.