I am writing code that relies on the output of /proc/meminfo, /proc/cpuinfo etc. Are the file contents always in English? For example, will MemTotal in /proc/meminfo always be MemTotal in all locales?

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    I cannot provide you with conclusive evidence, but since /proc is an interface that is intended to be used programmatically (there are no alternative system calls, etc -- this is the only place to get certain information, and lots of applications use it), it seems completely inconceivable for it to be any other way.
    – goldilocks
    Oct 6, 2013 at 16:56

2 Answers 2


Yes, usually that is the case, as those messages are provided by the kernel itself, and including a hundred translations into the kernel image itself would serve no purpose other than increasing the kernel size dramatically.

For many things there are front-ends, user space programs which read the kernel info and present it in a translated fashion.


proc virtual filesystem has two part:

1. /proc/[PID]/blahblah
2. /proc/* #versus of no.1 such as cpuinfo meminfo partitions and so on.

May be you will be see another locale in content of /proc/[PID]/files , because some of them such as environ fill up by user, so may be you can see another locale.But in part no2 or some of part no1 never you don't see another loccale.Also they aren't translatable.

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