Ubuntu – Locale variables have no effect in remote shell (perl: warning: Setting locale failed.)


I have a fresh ubuntu 12.04 installation. When i connect to my remote server i got errors like this:

~$ ssh example.com sudo aptitude upgrade
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/usr/bin/apt-listchanges", line 33, in <module>
    from ALChacks import *
  File "/usr/share/apt-listchanges/ALChacks.py", line 32, in <module>
    sys.stderr.write(_("Can't set locale; make sure $LC_* and $LANG are correct!\n"))
NameError: name '_' is not defined
perl: warning: Setting locale failed.
perl: warning: Please check that your locale settings:
    LANGUAGE = (unset),
    LC_ALL = (unset),
    LC_TIME = "de_DE.UTF-8",
    LC_MONETARY = "de_DE.UTF-8",
    LC_ADDRESS = "de_DE.UTF-8",
    LC_TELEPHONE = "de_DE.UTF-8",
    LC_NAME = "de_DE.UTF-8",
    LC_NUMERIC = "de_DE.UTF-8",
    LC_PAPER = "de_DE.UTF-8",
    LANG = "en_US.UTF-8"
    are supported and installed on your system.
perl: warning: Falling back to the standard locale ("C").
locale: Cannot set LC_ALL to default locale: No such file or directory
No packages will be installed, upgraded, or removed.
0 packages upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Need to get 0 B of archives. After unpacking 0 B will be used.

I don't have this problem when i connect from an older ubuntu installation.
This is output from my ubuntu 12.04 installation, LANG and LANGUAGE are set

$ locale

Does anybody know what has changed in ubuntu to get this error message on remote servers?

Best Answer

That's because your locale in your local machine is set to German, which SSH forwards to and tries to use on the server, but your server does not have it installed.

You've got several options:

  • Generate the locale. Generate the German locale on the server with sudo locale-gen de.

  • Stop forwarding locale from the client. Do not forward the locale environment variable from your local machine to the server. You can comment out the SendEnv LANG LC_* line in the local /etc/ssh/ssh_config file.

  • Stop accepting locale on the server. Do not accept the locale environment variable from your local machine to the server. You can comment out the AcceptEnv LANG LC_* line in the remote /etc/ssh/sshd_config file.

  • Set the server locale to English. Explicitly set the locale to English on the server. As an example, you can add the following lines to your remote ~/.bashrc or ~/.profile files:

    export LANGUAGE="en"
    export LANG="C"
    export LC_MESSAGES="C"

If you don't have root access to the server, the Stop forwarding locale from the client option might be the best (and only) way to go.

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