Menu Close
Settings Close

Language and Page Formatting Options

Red Hat Training

A Red Hat training course is available for RHEL 8

Chapter 2. Changing basic environment settings

Configuration of basic environment settings is a part of the installation process. The following sections guide you when you change them later. The basic configuration of the environment includes:

  • Date and time
  • System locales
  • Keyboard layout
  • Language

2.1. Configuring the date and time

Accurate timekeeping is important for a number of reasons. In Red Hat Enterprise Linux, timekeeping is ensured by the NTP protocol, which is implemented by a daemon running in user space. The user-space daemon updates the system clock running in the kernel. The system clock can keep time by using various clock sources.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 uses the chronyd daemon to implement NTP. chronyd is available from the chrony package. For more information, see Using the chrony suite to configure NTP.

2.1.1. Displaying the current date and time

To display the current date and time, use either of these steps.


  1. Enter the date command:

    $ date
    Mon Mar 30 16:02:59 CEST 2020
  2. To see more details, use the timedatectl command:

    $ timedatectl
    Local time: Mon 2020-03-30 16:04:42 CEST
    Universal time: Mon 2020-03-30 14:04:42 UTC
      RTC time: Mon 2020-03-30 14:04:41
     Time zone: Europe/Prague (CEST, +0200)
    System clock synchronized: yes
    NTP service: active
    RTC in local TZ: no

Additional resources

2.2. Configuring the system locale

System-wide locale settings are stored in the /etc/locale.conf file, which is read at early boot by the systemd daemon. Every service or user inherits the locale settings configured in /etc/locale.conf, unless individual programs or individual users override them.

This section describes how to manage system locale.


  • To list available system locale settings:

    $ localectl list-locales
  • To display the current status of the system locales settings:

    $ localectl status
  • To set or change the default system locale settings, use a localectl set-locale sub-command as the root user. For example:

    # localectl set-locale LANG=en_US

Additional resources

  • man localectl(1), man locale(7), and man locale.conf(5)

2.3. Configuring the keyboard layout

The keyboard layout settings control the layout used on the text console and graphical user interfaces.


  • To list available keymaps:

    $ localectl list-keymaps
  • To display the current status of keymaps settings:

    $ localectl status
    VC Keymap: us
  • To set or change the default system keymap. For example:

    # localectl set-keymap us

Additional resources

  • man localectl(1), man locale(7), and man locale.conf(5)

2.4. Changing the language using desktop GUI

This section describes how to change the system language using the desktop GUI.


  • Required language packages are installed on your system


  1. Open the GNOME Control Center from the System menu by clicking on its icon.

    cs system menu

  2. In the GNOME Control Center, choose Region & Language from the left vertical bar.
  3. Click the Language menu.

    cs language menu

  4. Select the required region and language from the menu.

    cs select region language

    If your region and language are not listed, scroll down, and click More to select from available regions and languages.

    cs available region language

  5. Click Done.
  6. Click Restart for changes to take effect.

    cs restart region language


Some applications do not support certain languages. The text of an application that cannot be translated into the selected language remains in US English.

Additional resources

2.5. Additional resources