LiveCD session doesn't provide fully translated interfaces according to selected language on booting screen

Bug #42109 reported by Petr Tomeš on 2006-04-29
This bug affects 4 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Ubuntu Translations
ubiquity (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

LiveCD session doesn't provide fully translated interfaces according to selected language on booting screen. I am convinced that during booting LiveCD should be automatically downloaded and set up basic language packs for example the Czech language (language-pack-cs, language-pack-gnome-cs) to provide users better experience with native language. Maybe also for key appliacations (Firefox), icons on Desktop and browser's homepage should be automatically downloaded language packs and set up.

shaggy (slimshaggy) wrote :

i do agree, speaking the users language is important.

I used the beta 2 live-cd, and tested espresso with german. There was the first page, telling its a beta, that was english. Then, the last page (reboot or shutdown), was in english too.

When i ask people, which got ubuntu 5.10 CD's from me, they tell their interrest totally stopped when they saw the live-cd was in english. Then they even did not install the system, because of this early bad experience.

Its so important to many people, more than i thought it would be.

Petr Tomeš (ptomes) on 2006-04-29
description: updated
Ricardo Pérez López (ricardo) wrote :

I'm not sure, but I think this problem is due to space restrictions in the LiveCD.

Petr Tomeš (ptomes) wrote :

I wrote about dlownloading only the base and the most important language packs during boot LiveCD/DesktopCD (now the main) session, if the internet connection is enabled and working (it is maybe in the most cases).

Igor Zubarev (igor.zubarev) wrote :

I confirm the lack of fully translated russian interface.

Matthew East (mdke) wrote :

In that case, confirming the bug status.

Peter Chabada (ubuntu-chabada) wrote :

I have to comfirm it too. It's very bad if LiveCD is not localized because if someone is trying it and if see it is not in his language he will not install it because of he will think the system is NOT localized.

If there wouldn't be enough space it should be rather to remove instalators for windows applications then localization. They can be obtained from

I looked on ubuntu-6.06-beta2-live-i386.iso and image has only 619 MB and 30 MB are windows installers, so there is more aprox. 100 MB for translations. That should be enough for base applications.

Alexandre Otto Strube (surak) wrote :

Something stranger are partial translations. If you set brazilian portuguese as the language, the strings "applications, places, system" will be in english, but all their submenus are in portuguese.

If you install the language packs, all is fine. Why some are in cd and others are in external languagepacks it's a mistery to me.

MilesTeg (bodiak) wrote :

This is still a problem in Ubuntu 7.10 !
When I select german on bootup half of the help texts are german, the other half english.

IMHO this just not acceptable for a newbie-friendly distro like ubuntu :(

MilesTeg (bodiak) wrote :

This is still a problem in Ubuntu 7.10 !
When I select german on bootup half of the help texts are german, the other half english.

IMHO this is just not acceptable for a newbie-friendly distro like ubuntu :(

Well, even in 9.04 "Jaunty" it still is the case. I know that in the past, the interfaces were in Dutch. If I installed for example 8.04 and 8.10 part of the interface was still English, for example the add/remove programs. I reported that as a bug. I also have upgraded one installation from 7.04 onward. Then the particular menu was and stayed Dutch. From now on demonstrating, I will only use an installed version that shows my native language and not the live CD for I know that many more people than the average nerd will think possible, is afraid of using English. Apart from that I think that many experienced users (specifically IT people) tend to stick to English "As that is understood by everybody" Well I am an IT'er, I work all day with English software, I do understand the English version perfectly well and my Dutch colleagues disagree for they all use Linux in English, still I prefer to use all software at home in Dutch. If this calls for localised ISO's, so be it. If they do exist on specific mirrors, please point to them so that demonstration CD's can be created in the preferred native language.

But I did a search... found out that there is a package called UCK and that with it, a customised version can be created in any supported language. Of course I will build a Dutch one, test it and use it on the occasions that I have to proof that Ubuntu is fun to use and works in our native language!

Unfortunately I do not have facilities to offer an ISO for download but I will report the outcome.

Cheers to you all,

Created the ISO, works flawlessly. Mind you: If only one language is chosen, that language shows up in the menu. You have the ability to pick more. I tried Dutch and Esperanto and those two remained under the F2 key. Started the Live CD in Dutch and all dialogues were Dutch, except: Add/Remove programs is in Dutch but the listed items were "Alles" (Dutch) but then again "Accessories","Education","Games","Graphics","Internet","Office","Other","Programming","Sound and Video","System Tools","Universal Access" all still remained in English. This, again, is the bug I have reported before. Despite that the language chosen is correct, this menu item persistently produces English. Applications I have tested so far (Office, some games, some utilities, Firefox and Evolution were all in Dutch as is a large part of the helpfile.

Przemek K. (azrael) wrote :

Peter: why don't you just point your friends to the live dvd instead? It contains all the language packs.

Hi Przemysław,

Learning still... I am cuurently downloading it. However not everyone has
the ability to boot the PC from a DVD. Therefore, in order to demonstrate
I need a CD that simply starts in Dutch but that is what I now have
created with the UCK package.
Thanks for pointing this out to me.

Best regards,

Przemysław Kulczycki wrote:
> Peter: why don't you just point your friends to the live dvd instead? It contains all the language packs.
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Timo Jyrinki (timo-jyrinki) wrote :

Note my updates at the spec

Basically the exact title of this bug is the only thing that is left of a bigger array of problems. The earlier problems, not getting one's language even after installing, were bigger ones. The developer of the installer has endorsed guiding the user to install missing language support either during installation (if Internet connection is available) or after installation (if the user didn't enable Internet connection before installation, which is quite common since it isn't hinted anywhere).

I personally still think it wouldn't be unreasonable to offer language support downloading even before the installation start, and additionally offering to restart GNOME to put them into use. Maybe a dialog at the time user arrives at the desktop but some other language than English was selected in the boot menu - whether one wants to use the Live CD in local language by connecting to Internet and downloading support, or (the recommended) using the Live CD as is as a quick functionality glance and proceed later to the always localized installer.

If assuming Internet connectivity is not too much, this would avoid the much greater hassle of providing tens of different Ubuntu CDs all with different language sets.

It's still the same problem with Karmic alpha6. I can confirmed this is a bad experience to select a language at boot time and end up with english when you're at Gnome.

Hope a solution will be find soon so users may have a better first experience.

Victor Vargas (kamus) wrote :

Since this report have a long time without activity, please could you check (if is possible) in latest version included in Karmic if this issue is still happening? Thanks in advance.

Changed in ubuntu:
status: Confirmed → Incomplete
Changed in baltix:
status: New → Invalid
Daniel Koć (kocio) wrote :

I've tried with polish language in 10.04 beta1 ISO, but still no luck - all elements are in english, except the date and ubiquity installation icon name on the desktop.

Installed languages panel shows that polish has neither the "translations" nor the "spellchecking and writing aids" components. In this windows I can see that only:

- bengali, spanish castilian, german, portugal and xhosa have translations (no other components)
- english has both "translation" and "spellchecking and writing aids" components

Aron Xu (happyaron) on 2010-07-06
affects: ubuntu → ubiquity (Ubuntu)
Changed in ubiquity (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → New

This is not related to ubuntu-translations, since it's ubiquity's job to fix this.

Changed in ubuntu-translations:
status: New → Invalid
AJenbo (ajenbo) wrote :

Another solution would be to use Squashfs LZMA, this should increase the live cd capacity by up to 25% leaving plenty of room for lang packs, and maybe even gimp and aptitude ;-)

Changed in ubiquity (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
AsciiWolf (asciiwolf) wrote :

Is this bug report still relevant?

I don't think so, however, I have yet to see any live distro that does what was quoted here. Apart from the fact that translations will always fall short from complete in whatever language, the majority of "nerds & power users" will use English as default language. I would say: Close the matter.

AsciiWolf (asciiwolf) on 2017-11-21
tags: added: l10n
tags: added: artful bionic trusty xenial yakkety zesty
Gunnar Hjalmarsson (gunnarhj) wrote :

AFAICT, this topic was thoroughly considered by the desktop team a couple of years ago, and it ended up in the decision to support full language support in live sessions for the biggest languages, but not for the rest. Please see bug #1520278.

So this bug report is a "Won't Fix" candidate IMO.

tags: removed: artful trusty yakkety zesty
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