How to change the interface (menu) language of VLC media player in Linux

In VLC media player, in the settings there is an option to select the interface language. But this option is only present in the Windows version.

In Linux there is no this option and you cannot change the language through the program settings.

But the problem can be solved very easily in the console.

How to change VLC language at once

The language of VLC media player depends on the selected locale. Moreover, it is not necessary to change the language for the entire system – just change the language for the terminal window in which you launch VLC media player.

For example, the following commands will launch VLC media player in English, Japanese, Thai and French:





How to make VLC run in a different language

If you want to make the changes permanent, then edit the file /usr/share/applications/vlc.desktop. Open it and add “env LANGUAGE=en” to the "Exec" line so it looks something like this:

Exec=env LANGUAGE=en /usr/bin/vlc --started-from-file %U

If you update the VLC package, these changes will be lost. To ensure that changes persist even after you upgrade the package, make a copy of vlc.desktop to ~/.local/share/applications. As a result, the edited file will survive the package update.

Creating a startup script in ~/bin/

Some Linux distributions give priority to programs stored in the ~/bin/ directory.

Therefore, you can create a file ~/bin/vlc with the following contents (you can choose any other as the language – ja, ko, th, de, fr pt, es, ru and so on):

export LANGUAGE=en
exec /usr/bin/vlc $@

Make the file executable:

chmod +x ~/bin/vlc

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