I'm installing "Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.2 (Linux version 3.10.0-327.el7.x86_64 ([email protected]) (gcc version 4.8.3 20140911 (Red Hat 4.8.3-9) (GCC) ) #1 SMP Thu Oct 29 17:29:29 EDT 2015)"

I am trying to switch from LANG="en_US.UTF-8" to LANG="en_US" as we need to operate the OS in 8 bits ASCII mode.

I have tried to change /etc/locale.conf and reboot.

It doesn't work for gnome. For instance, when I try to launch a terminal session, I get this error:

Dec 23 14:27:56 cmt22 gnome-session: Error constructing proxy for org.gnome.Terminal:/org/gnome/Terminal/Factory0: Error calling StartServiceByName for org.gnome.Terminal: GDBus.Error:org.freedesktop.DBus.Error.Spawn.ChildExited: Process /usr/libexec/gnome-terminal-server exited with status 8

Accordingly to gnome documentation, it says the locale is not defined but localectl list-locales shows it is defined.

2 Answers 2


Some forwards:

  • RHEL 7 as opposed to 5 defaults to the utf8 character encoding. So in RHEL5, you could do 'en_US' and you'd still be in ASCII. Now you're in utf8.
  • Unfortunately, all man pages are now in utf8 and the man page system sorta forces you to use it. You will have trouble viewing some man pages with a non-utf8 encoding unless you hammer away at the nroff program and man.config
  • 8-bit ASCII is de facto replaced with iso-8859-1, which lacks a few things that are fixed by iso-8859-15.

You can override the character encoding by replacing UTF-8 with iso-8859-1 or perhaps iso-8859-15. Update /etc/locale.conf (in <7, /etc/sysconfig/i18n) or set it per-user in $HOME/.i18n.


Test on the command line first (using export LANG...) and then run locale to make sure there are no errors (it will complain if so).

  • sorry, I tried with en_US.iso885915 but I get the same issue into gnome.
    – user23921
    Commented Dec 23, 2015 at 15:54
  • I updated my answer to be more specific. and fix some mistakes. Re-read and try again?
    – Otheus
    Commented Dec 23, 2015 at 16:08
  • Worst case: set LANG=C and re-start gnome. Are you running GNOME as a system desktop? Do you know how to relaunch it without rebooting?
    – Otheus
    Commented Dec 23, 2015 at 16:45

You need an UTF8 locale for gnome-terminal to work properly in the recent version of GNOME

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