Update: I have created a new user via adduser and Virtualbox fonts are OK there. This does not solve my problem, however... I still don't know what is going on and I'd like my own user account to have the correct settings.

In my fresh install of Debian with Xfce, programs such as QtConfig, VLC and Virtualbox, which presumably use the Qt GUI framework, all have Greek fonts.

This is really annoying, and I'd like to change it to something understandable, preferably the system-wide font settings.

Here are some screenshots:

QtConfig: QtConfig Virtualbox: Virtualbox VLC: VLC

How can I solve this?

Additional info:

locale says:


egrep '^[^#]' /etc/locale.gen says:

en_US.UTF-8 UTF-8
  • Have you selected a greek locale/theme? Here it is described how you can reset all your kde settings. – jofel Jan 31 '13 at 10:53
  • I'm using Xfce. – jcora Jan 31 '13 at 18:02
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    Can you try to set the font manually as here described. – jofel Feb 1 '13 at 10:58
  • 1
    Try adding LC_ALL=en_US.UTF-8 and LANGUAGE=en_US.UTF-8 to your /etc/locale.conf file. If after rebooting that doesn't fix the issue, try running virtualbox from a terminal with (LANG=en_US.UTF-8 VirtualBox) (or whatever the name of the executable is) and see if that changes anything. But most likely a bug report is in order. – Martín Canaval Feb 1 '13 at 15:06
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    If so, please check your Qt settings on your original user. – schaiba Feb 3 '13 at 13:27

It's not a locale problem.

I don't know Greek but I can tell from your screenshot that it's perfectly normal English. It quite clearly says "Welcome to VirtualBox", there's a button that says "New", the one next to it suspiciously looks like "Settings", there are several "the" and other English words. If it actually was Greek I'd expect it to look very different.

So it's not locale and it's not Greek but English.

I suppose you have installed or selected some Joke font on your system which displays ABC characters in Greek equivalents. Unfortunately I am not fluent enough in Qt configuration nor do I know which font that could be to point you directly to the solution.

Maybe it will help you anyway.

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  • Yeah, we have already figured that out, but +1 for that package information. – jcora Feb 5 '13 at 17:02
  • You could go for a divide and conquer approach. See if you can reproduce the issue if you copy all config files (the hidden files and dirs) to another user account. If that reproduces the issue, delete one half of the files. If the issue goes away, delete the other half. Rinse and repeat until you're left with the culprit file. It's annoying and a last resort if you have no other pointers. – frostschutz Feb 5 '13 at 19:31

Try adding the following to your /etc/default/locale file, maybe also on /etc/environment.


More adequately add the following to /etc/profile

: ${LANG:=en_US.UTF-8}; export LANG
: ${LC_ALL:=en_US.UTF-8}; export LC_ALL

If after rebooting that doesn't fix the issue, try running virtualbox from a terminal like this

(export LANG=en_US.UTF-8; export LC_ALL=en_US.UTF-8; VirtualBox)

or whatever the name of the executable is, and see if that changes anything. I read somewhere that qt 4.7 had locales issues, fixed on the 4.8 version.

Edit, as Chris Brown mentioned on the comments, Setting the LC_ALL variable globally is not a graceful solution. It's more intended as a temporary workaround in case the problem is the bug on the 4.7 version. This change should be undone if that is not the problem or if it's fixed after upgrading to qt 4.8.

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  • Sadly, none of the things you had suggested have worked... – jcora Feb 2 '13 at 14:21
  • 1
    Try creating a test user and see if issues persist. – schaiba Feb 2 '13 at 14:53
  • Setting LC_ALL as a global override is not a graceful way to handle this situation. – Chris Down Feb 2 '13 at 15:07
  • @ChrisDown, well, it doesn't work either way. – jcora Feb 2 '13 at 15:12
  • @schaiba - how does one upgrade Qt? AFAIK it's a C++ library, so I doubt it has a runtime (shared libraries?). – jcora Feb 2 '13 at 15:13

Try backing up or clearing your ~/.config/Trolltech.conf

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  • Backed it up and then I rm'd it. The fonts were still undesired, but the file appeared again... – jcora Feb 3 '13 at 14:47
  • Yep, confirming now: diff of the test user's Trolltech.conf and mine is none. – jcora Feb 3 '13 at 14:54
  • Please paste the output of 'env | grep -i lang' – schaiba Feb 3 '13 at 14:56
  • Additional possibilities: ~/.config/Trolltech/, ~/.config/fontconfig/, ~/.kde4/ The font is called "Standard Symbols L", maybe grepping $HOME helps. – t-8ch Feb 3 '13 at 15:17
  • @schaiba:LANG=en_US.UTF-8 (newline) LANGUAGE=en_US.UTF-8. – jcora Feb 3 '13 at 21:54

as root:

dpkg-reconfigure locales
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  • Sadly that didn't work. – jcora Feb 4 '13 at 16:51

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