17.2.1 INSTALL Matters

Some packages are localizable when properly installed; the programs they contain can be made to speak your own native language. Most such packages use GNU gettext. Other packages have their own ways to internationalization, predating GNU gettext.

By default, this package will be installed to allow translation of messages. It will automatically detect whether the system already provides the GNU gettext functions. Installers may use special options at configuration time for changing the default behaviour. The command:

./configure --disable-nls

will totally disable translation of messages.

When you already have GNU gettext installed on your system and run configure without an option for your new package, configure will probably detect the previously built and installed libintl library and will decide to use it. If not, you may have to to use the ‘--with-libintl-prefix’ option to tell configure where to look for it.

Internationalized packages usually have many po/ll.po files, where ll gives an ISO 639 two-letter code identifying the language. Unless translations have been forbidden at configure time by using the ‘--disable-nls’ switch, all available translations are installed together with the package. However, the environment variable LINGUAS may be set, prior to configuration, to limit the installed set. LINGUAS should then contain a space separated list of two-letter codes, stating which languages are allowed.