How to Fix “Failed to set locale, defaulting to C.UTF-8” in CentOS 8

Have you ever encountered the warning/error “Failed to set locale, defaulting to C.UTF-8” in CentOS 8 or RHEL 8? If yes, then this article describes how to fix this error. Note that this article should also work on any operating systems based on RHEL 8.

A locale is a set of basic system parameters that define things such as a user’s language, region and any special variant preferences that the user wants to see in their user interface.

Recommended Read: How to Change or Set System Locales in Linux

On POSIX platforms such as Linux and other Unix-like operating systems, locale identifiers are defined by ISO/IEC 15897. For example, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (US) English using the UTF-8 encoding is en_US.UTF-8).

The following is a screenshot showing the warning/error when you run the dnf or yum command as shown.

Failed to set locale, defaulting to C.UTF-8
Failed to set locale, defaulting to C.UTF-8

To set system locale, use the localectl command. For example, if you want English – UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (US) using the UTF-8 encoding, run the following command.

# localectl set-locale LANG=en_US.UTF-8

Next, check if the system locale has been set by running the following command.

# localectl
# dnf install @postgresql
Failed to set locale, defaulting to C.UTF-8
Failed to set locale, defaulting to C.UTF-8

Note that even after setting the system locale, the warning persists. This implies that the language packs are missing. To install them, go to the next section.

If a particular language pack is missing on your system, you need to install it to fix the above error. However, you can install all language packs provided by the glibc-all-langpacks package which contains all locales.

# dnf install langpacks-en glibc-all-langpacks -y
Install Language Packs in CentOS 8
Install Language Packs in CentOS 8

Alternatively, if you want to install locales individually, and thus have a smaller package installation footprint on your system, run the following command (replace en with the locale-code you want).

# dnf install glibc-langpack-en

Using the above procedure, we managed to fix the “Failed to set locale, defaulting to C.UTF-8” in CentOS 8 or RHEL 8. Hoping that this worked for you as well, otherwise. give us feedback via the comment form below.

Aaron Kili
Aaron Kili is a Linux and F.O.S.S enthusiast, an upcoming Linux SysAdmin, web developer, and currently a content creator for TecMint who loves working with computers and strongly believes in sharing knowledge.

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  1. After trying the above solution, i.e installing langpacks, I locate gnome-control-center where I was able to change language from ANSI to English, in the Region & Language section. Set Language to English (United States) and Formats to United States (English).

    Locale now displays:

  2. RHEL 8.3 install script failed during install localectl status showed empty, but I have updated it however locale still shows “C” and gnome-terminal fails to open.

    $ locale
    $ localectl status
       System Locale: LANG=en_US.UTF-8
           VC Keymap: us
          X11 Layout: us
           X11 Model: pc105+inet
         X11 Options: terminate:ctrl_alt_bksp


  3. Hi, it worked after installing this “dnf install glibc-langpack-en” in Centos 8 Docker container.

    Thanks a mission.

  4. @Aaron,

    I’m using Ubi minimal image and DNF/yum not installed on it. It comes with microdnf.

    When I’m trying to install langpack-es, it fails saying the package not available in the base-os-8 repo. Any suggestions?

    I don’t want to install an all-langpack to keep the image size small.

  5. Hi, I can’t find DNF. Any solution?

    No command ‘dnf’ found, did you mean:
    Command ‘df’ from package ‘coreutils’ (main)
    Command ‘fnf’ from package ‘confluence’ (universe)
    dnf: command not found

    • @Chamara

      Are you using CentOS 8? It comes with DNF installed, alternatively, you can use the YUM package manager to install the packages.


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