Displays or sets the locale setting for the current session.

Displays or sets the locale setting for the current session.


\locale [locale-identifier]


Specifies the ICU locale identifier to use, by default set to:

If set to an empty string, Vertica sets locale to en_US_POSIX.

If you omit this argument, \locale returns the current locale setting.

For details on identifier options, see About locale. For a complete list of locale identifiers, see the ICU Project.


View the current locale setting:

=> \locale

Change the default locale for this session:

=> \locale en_GBINFO:
INFO 2567:  Canonical locale: 'en_GBINFO:'
Standard collation: 'LEN'
English (GBINFO:)


The server locale settings impact only the collation behavior for server-side query processing. The client application is responsible for ensuring that the correct locale is set in order to display the characters correctly. Below are the best practices recommended by Vertica to ensure predictable results:

  • The locale setting in the terminal emulator for vsql (POSIX) should be set to be equivalent to session locale setting on server side (ICU) so data is collated correctly on the server and displayed correctly on the client.

  • The vsql locale should be set using the POSIX LANG environment variable in terminal emulator. Refer to the documentation of your terminal emulator for how to set locale.

  • Server session locale should be set using the set as described in Specify the default locale for the database.

  • All input data for vsql should be in UTF-8 and all output data is encoded in UTF-8.

  • Non UTF-8 encodings and associated locale values are not supported.