Making the locale stick

Setting up a new machine with arch linux and again have problems making my swedish locale stick. Since I have made several random changes I am not entirely sure anymore but it seems like a couple of things are needed.

To make the system believe it is on a swedish keyboard the file /etc/vconsole.conf needs to have KEYMAP=sv-latin1. Note that this is not a locale - rather a keyboard mapping. I tried putting the locale se-lat6 but it didn’t work (naturally). This can also be set with localectl set-keymap --no-convert sv-latin1.

To make X believe that it is on a swedish keyboard the x11-keymap needs to be set. It stays in a file in /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/ called 00-keyboard.conf. This can be set with the command localectl set-x11-keymap se.

Also for the locale to behave correctly you need to have the /etc/locale.conf file set up correctly. I investigated this due to some problem with my previous setup and don’t exactly remember the why’s here. What I have now is:


If I remember correctly this means that I want swedish locale for input and such but for conversions and localized messages I will rather stay with the default language. (Otherwise databases and whatnot tries to find error messages in swedish and that can be really annoying.)

Photo by Matus Kacmar