Languages supported on DreamHost servers


DreamHost servers run different operating systems that are all Linux-based. Linux servers use something called a locale to specify available languages the server is able to recognize. This allows you to use your preferred language characters when creating files and directories on the server.

Viewing available languages

Specific languages are installed on all servers by default. The following steps explain how to view available languages.

  1. Log into your DreamHost server via SSH.
  2. Run the following command:
    [server]$ locale -a
A list of all available languages display.

Viewing characters in a browser

The locales installed on the server allow you to create files and directories using your preferred language, however, a web browser may not be able to convert non-Latin characters by default. To resolve this, you can specify the encoding so a browser can read them. You can do this in two ways:

  • Add the encoding to individual files
  • Add the encoding to your .htaccess file

Individual files

You could add the following line to the <head> section of an HTML page to display characters in your preferred language.

  <meta charset="UTF-8">

This is the default encoding for HTML5. The following link explains this in more detail:

Add a line to your .htaccess file

You could also add a line to your site's .htaccess file to set the encoding for all files. For example, add the following line so all .html files will use UTF-8 encoding.

AddCharset UTF-8 .html

The following link explains this in more detail:

Displaying non-Latin characters in a directory index

If you visit a directory without an index file (such as index.html), a list of all files and directories within that directory display. However, if you're using non-Latin characters, they may not display correctly by default. To fix this, add the following line to your site's .htaccess file.

IndexOptions Charset=UTF-8

Reload the directory index and all files and directories will display the characters correctly.

Adding different locales

If you would like to install a locale that is not already configured on your DreamHost server, you must upgrade to a Dedicated server. 

On a Dedicated server, you are able to create an admin user. This admin user would then have root/sudo access to install additional locales. DreamHost support is unable to assist with such custom configurations, but the following link may be of help:

DreamHost also offers Professional development services which may be able to assist further:

See also

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