belocs-locales-bin: default for locale-gen of not purging locale data causes upgrade problems

Marvin Renich mrvn at
Wed Jan 24 01:46:31 UTC 2007

Package: belocs-locales-bin
Version: 2.4-1ubuntu6
Severity: normal

Some time ago (I think July of last year), I upgraded a whole bunch of
packages at once.  When the upgrade was completed, I started getting the
message "locale: Cannot set LC_ALL to default locale: No such file or
directory" when running certain programs, including during installs
using aptitude.  After trying several things to fix the problem,
including "dpkg-reconfigure locales", installing localeconf and letting
debconf handle the default locale, and running locale-gen by hand, I put
the problem aside, since it was merely defaulting to "C", but was not
preventing other programs from working.  I did find a number of similar
problems with Google, but could not find a solution that worked for me.

I just revisited this problem, and compared the locale-gen script for
this (Ubuntu) system with one from a Debian (mostly)-etch system, and
found the solution, which is to run locale-gen --purge.

The problem appears (though I no longer have an older system to compare)
that a certain upgrade leaves the already-generated locales in a state
that is incompatible with the new libc6(?), but the old locales are not
purged.  Since locale-gen now defaults to keeping the old locales, they
are not regenerated unless you find the non-default argument.
Furthermore, this is a difference from the Debian distribution upon
which Ubuntu is based, and it is completely non-obvious to admins who
use both Debian and Ubuntu.


-- System Information:
Debian Release: testing/unstable
  APT prefers dapper-updates
  APT policy: (990, 'dapper-updates'), (990, 'dapper-security'), (990, 'dapper'), (500, 'edgy'), (500, 'breezy-updates'), (500, 'breezy-security'), (500, 'breezy')
Architecture: amd64 (x86_64)
Shell:  /bin/sh linked to /bin/bash
Kernel: Linux 2.6.15-27-amd64-k8
Locale: LANG=en_US.UTF-8, LC_CTYPE=en_US.UTF-8 (charmap=UTF-8)

Versions of packages belocs-locales-bin depends on:
ii  libc6                      2.4-1ubuntu12 GNU C Library: Shared libraries

Versions of packages belocs-locales-bin recommends:
ii  locales                common files for locale support

-- no debconf information

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