[GRASS-user] System locale is not usable issue.

Markus Neteler neteler at osgeo.org
Thu Jul 7 08:26:04 PDT 2016

Hi Rodrigo,

On Mon, May 4, 2015 at 5:32 PM, Rodrigo A. León Loya
<rleonloya at geociencias.unam.mx> wrote:
> El 2015-04-30 15:21, Markus Neteler escribió:
>> On Wed, Apr 29, 2015 at 3:35 AM, Rodrigo A. León Loya
>>>  Hello,
>>>  I have trouble with starting grass. I messed up with my .bash_profile
>>> and
>>> the terminal commands and programs running under python were gone
>>> (including
>>> GRASS).. I fixed the other programs and but when i try to start grass the
>>> next error is printed in the terminal:
>>>  "System locale is not usable. It indicates misconfigured environment.
>>> Reported error message: unsupported locale setting
>>> Fix system locale settings and then try again."
>>>   I`m using MAC OS by the way. I tried to uninstall and re-install grass
>>> but
>>> didn´t work. So I don´t now what to do. Thank you very much in advance
>>> for
>>> your help. Have a nice day.
>> Can you please post the results of these two commands (to be executed
>> in a terminal):
>> echo $LC_ALL
>> echo $LANG
>> In the startup script there is test for these.
>> Another thing to try: edit (or delete) the file
>> $HOME/.grass7/wx
>> which may contain a line "language;..." <<-- remove from file. Or
>> delete this wx file which just contains some GUI user setting.
>> Let us know how it goes,
>> Markus
>   Hello Markus
>  The results for both lines in terminal are:
>      en.US.UTF-8
>  And i have no archive named wx, in that directory there is just another
> empty carpet named "toolboxes" and another text file named "rc" which lines
> are the Location name, the Gisdatabase, Mapset and the final one GUI:
> wxpython.
>   Thank you very much and have a nice day

With a years of delay I got the same problem and finally understand
that GRASS GIS is creating this message rather than the operating

user at master:~ grass72
System locale is not usable. It indicates misconfigured environment.
Reported error message: unsupported locale setting
Fix system locale settings and then try again.

Here I am on a remote Ubuntu system which is installed in a
minimalistic way (headless system).
I have made some checks and seen that the variable "LC_ALL" is not
defined at all, hence the GRASS GIS start script stops due to

This got implemented in r59655. The internal comment says
   "# If we get here, system locale settings are terribly wrong"

Well, yes and no. While you have the issue on Mac OSX while me gets it
on Ubuntu, perhaps we need to relax this test and simply set
and go on with a respective warning.

The test does not include some specific cases like ssh connections (my
case), see http://stackoverflow.com/a/2510548/452464
I.e., in my standard settings of ssh (/etc/ssh/sshd_config), there is
a definition:
AcceptEnv LANG LC_*

It only seems to happens when connecting from an older system to a
newer system according to the stackoverflow discussion.

Now what? Since many users will not be able to modify server settings,
 I have changed the test in GRASS to fall back to C locale rather than
refusing to start GRASS GIS at all.

Rodrigo: solution for you: in any snapshort older than today or in the
upcoming releases of GRASS GIS 7.0.x and 7.2.0 the fix will be
Or, simply define LC_ALL to something in your bashrc or bash_profile
(see here: http://stackoverflow.com/a/7413863/452464 )


PS: Luckily I remembered your issue :-)

Markus Neteler
http://www.mundialis.de - free data with free software

More information about the grass-user mailing list