After a reinstall of freya 0.3.2 I encountered a weird problem with the language installation. First, after installation there were numerous languages installed that I didn't choose during installation (e.g. Danish, Japanese, Russian...). I then removed the languages I didn't need using the system settings keeping German as the system language and a couple of other languages as additional languages.

Now I would like to install Spanish as an additional language, but it doesn't work. When I click on "Espanol" in the add menu, nothing happens. Also, there is a yellow bar appearing in the top part of the system settings window telling me that "The language is not installed completely".

a) I don't know to which of the installed languages this refers, and

b) when I click on the button "complete installation", the yellow bar fades out, but immediately returns with the same message like before. Apparently there is no complemental installation of any of the installed languages. You can notice that German is not installed completely because e.g. the Pantheon Greeter is still in English (whereas before the reinstall of the system it was German)

Any ideas?

  • 1
    Run sudo apt-get update then try installing the language again.
    – user.dz
    Dec 24, 2015 at 20:22
  • Thanks - I actually have installed Spanish now using synaptic. There still is the same problem with the GUI in the system settings though
    – deesnook
    Dec 29, 2015 at 17:23
  • any progress in your problem?
    – Ravan
    Dec 31, 2015 at 3:03
  • It is my bug report: bugs.launchpad.net/switchboard-plug-locale/+bug/1529183
    – JulianLai
    Dec 31, 2015 at 7:58
  • There is an unexpected progress insofar that suddenly and without any good reason the completion of the language installation in the system settings worked. I just tried again and hit "complete installation", and there was an installation process that - although it was very very slow - apparently finished properly. I don't have a clue how and why, but seems like it's done now
    – deesnook
    Jan 2, 2016 at 0:44

1 Answer 1


To install any language follow the steps:

Step 1:

Open software & updates --> updates tab --> Enable trusty-security and trusty-updates


Open terminal and run:

sudo apt-get update

Now Go to system settings --> Language & Region --> Unlock --> Hit +

Select required language and double click. It will complete installation.

  • If installation successful, go to step 6.

  • If step 1 fails, go to

    • step-2 : GUI (recommended)

    • step-3 : CLI

    • step-4: GUI

    • step-5: Manual (Not recommended)

Step 2: ( GUI way tested, working)

Install Language Support from Software Center.

Open Language Support from application launcher. Click on Install/ Remove languages.


Check (select) the desired language(s) and click Apply Changes to install.


If any package is failed to install or partially installed, close language support. Now open language support again and select the previous language again to install. It will complete installation of missing packages (It mean it will continue, where it has stopped). After successful installation, go to step 6.

Step 3: ( CLI way,tested, working)

For any language we need to install four packages. Open terminal and run the following command to install those four packages.

sudo apt-get install language-pack-[cod] language-pack-gnome-[cod] language-pack-[cod]-base language-pack-gnome-[cod]-base

Where [cod] is language code.

For example, fr for french, es for Espanol, en for English etc.,

Replace [cod] with corresponding language code.

For example: for Espilon (Spanish)

sudo apt-get install language-pack-es language-pack-gnome-es language-pack-es-base language-pack-gnome-es-base

Also each application can have its language pack. To know the packages to be installed :

check-language-support -l [cod]

For example:

ravan@ravan:~$ check-language-support -l fr
firefox-locale-fr gimp-help-fr hunspell-fr language-pack-fr language-pack-gnome-fr thunderbird-locale-fr wfrench

All in one command to install all required packs for a particular lang.

sudo apt-get install `check-language-support -l [code]`

For example:

sudo apt-get install `check-language-support -l fr`

After successful installation go to step 6.

Step 4:( GUI way, working)

You can use any package manager either Software Center or Synaptic

To use synaptic first install from software center.

Make sure your system is upto date.

You have to install four lang packages.


Where [cod] is language code.

For example, fr for french, es for Espanol, en for English etc.,

  • Open software center --> search for those packages and install.

  • Open synaptic --> click on search and search for those packages.

    Replace [cod] with language code.


Now select the package and right click--> Mark for installation.


It will automatically install packages for other applications.

Step 5: (not recommended)

You can manually install required four lang packs like here

Step 6:

If you successfully installed desired language pack:

Go to System settings --> language & region --> adjust Region and Format for desired language, and click on set language.

Log out and login.


Note: Steps 2 & 3 will surely work. If any lang pack is missing for a particular application, for example firefox, run software updater, it will do the job.

  • 1
    +1 for check-language-support good to know about it, helpful for debugging language packages problem
    – user.dz
    Dec 31, 2015 at 8:21
  • 1
    @Ravan comprehensive indeed, very impressive! thank you
    – deesnook
    Jan 2, 2016 at 0:48
  • @Ravan I didn't really need it anymore (see my last comment to the initial question) but I tried it for another language as well using synaptic (which worked) so your answer definitely would solve similar problems! So yeah, answer accepted :)
    – deesnook
    Jan 16, 2016 at 15:03

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