Chapter 4. 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

4.1. Configuring the date and time

Accurate timekeeping is important for several 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 9 and later versions use the chronyd daemon to implement NTP. chronyd is available from the chrony package. For more information, see Using the chrony suite to configure NTP.

4.1.1. 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

4.2. Configuring the system locale

System-wide locale settings are stored in the /etc/locale.conf file that 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.


  • 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)

4.3. 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)

4.4. Changing the font size in text console mode

You can change the font size in the virtual console by using the setfont command.

  • Enter the setfont command with the name of the font, for example:

    # setfont /usr/lib/kbd/consolefonts/LatArCyrHeb-19.psfu.gz

The setfont command searches for multiple hard-coded paths by default. Therefore, setfont does not require the full name and path to the font.

  • To double the size of the font horizontally and vertically, enter the setfont command with -d parameter:

    # setfont -d LatArCyrHeb-16

The maximum font size that you can double is 16x16 pixel.

  • To preserve the selected font during the reboot of the system, use the FONT variable in the /etc/vconsole.conf file, for example:

    # cat /etc/vconsole.conf
  • You can find various fonts in the kbd-misc package, which is installed with the`kbd` package. For example, the font LatArCyrHeb has many variants:

    # rpm -ql kbd-misc | grep LatAr

The maximum supported font size by the virtual console is 32 pixels. You can reduce the font readability problem by using smaller resolution for the console.

4.5. Additional resources