9.6. Changing the language

The language of the GnuCash user interface is not modifiable directly from the program’s preferences.

The way you can change the language depends on the operating system you are running GnuCash on.


In general you should set the LANGUAGE and LANG environment variables before starting GnuCash. To do this you need to open a terminal and run the following command:

LANGUAGE=ll_LL LANG=ll_LL gnucash

ll_LL is the locale you want to run GnuCash with (de_DE for Deutsch, it_IT for Italian etc.)


On some systems (e.g. Ubuntu) the encoding could be part of the locales name, like ll_LL.UTF-8. You can use these names as well.


If you want to use a different translation from the one that is automatically selected, you can run the following in Terminal.app:

defaults write $(mdls -name kMDItemCFBundleIdentifier -raw /Applications/GnuCash.app) AppleLanguages "(de, en)"

Use whatever language codes you want, replacing Deutsch and English. It won’t work if there isn’t a translation file for the language you want.

If you want to unset it (that is, return to using the system settings), run this:

defaults delete $(mdls -name kMDItemCFBundleIdentifier -raw /Applications/GnuCash.app)


If you are running GnuCash 2.4.0 (or newer) on Windows, you can set the interface language by editing the file environment with a text editor (e.g. Notepad). By default this file is installed in c:\Program Files\gnucash\etc\gnucash. Change this file such that the last few lines are:

# If you wish GnuCash to use a different language, uncomment the two parameters
# below and set LANG to your preferred locale

ll_LL is the locale you want to run GnuCash with (de_DE for Deutsch, it_IT for Italian etc.)


More and updated information about this topic can be found on the Locale Settings page of the GnuCash wiki.