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When I am installing Linux (for the GB locale) I am presented with the option of choosing en_GB, en_GB.UTF-8 and en_GB.ISO-8859-15.

What factors go into making the choice? As far as I know the British alphabet doesn't use UTF-8, or it does but I haven't experienced or recognized what problems that causes on a server.

Is there some way to tell which may be more appropriate for one's case? I know that databases installations like Postgres, MySQL and SQLite seem to prefer the UTF locale.

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The difference between these options is what character encoding is used for text. If you choose en_GB the system will use the iso8859-1 character set. Iso8859-15 is roughly equivalent to iso8859-1, but eight code points have changed meaning; for example, the currency symbol ¤ has been replaced by the Euro sign €. These encodings use 8 bits per character, and are thus limited to fixed sets of 256 different characters (even less in practice).

UTF-8 is a Unicode encoding. Unicode is the all-encompassing character representation scheme, defining code points for more than 128000 characters and emojis. Unicode definitely also supports the British alphabet.

My recommendation is to use UTF-8, because it is a superset of the other character sets and is widely used on Linux today.

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