Locales and Encoding Configuration

You can display content based on language, time zone, “right to left” (that is, languages such as Hebrew, Arabic, and Persian), and you can localize user names and titles. Administrators can localize specific core UI messages so that the messages display in certain languages.

Time Zones

You can set time zones in the Control Panel and theoretically in the JVM (but this must be set to GMT: see below).

Time zone configuration and default language customization are done in the Control Panel, at the Instance level.

  1. Navigate to the Control PanelConfiguration.

  2. Click Instance Settings.

  3. Click on the Miscellaneous tab.

Figure 1: You can change the default and available languages and the time zone in Instance Settings.

Figure 1: You can change the default and available languages and the time zone in Instance Settings.

The central left and right arrows let you add or remove available languages and locales. You can also set these as properties in your portal-ext.properties file in your Liferay Home folder. The portal.properties reference document’s Company section defines the default locale. The Languages and Time Zones section defines the available and current locales.


As an example, the above property changes the locale to English, Great Britain.

Set the JVM Time Zone to GMT

If you set the time zone in the JVM, it causes issues such as Calendar Events and Web Content articles displaying the wrong dates. This happens because the system assumes each date stored in the database is stored in GMT time. When the system needs to display one stored date to the end users, the display date is calculated by the application server’s current date. This date is affected by the configured JVM level time zone and the stored GMT format date. To make sure the display date is calculated correctly, the time zone must be configured to GMT at the JVM level. Otherwise, an incorrect time zone offset at the JVM level causes the display date to be wrongly calculated and displayed.

Friendly URLs and Locales

In addition to configuring instance settings, you can also define unique URLs for specific languages using the I18nServlet by editing Portal’s web.xml file:

	<servlet-name>I18n Servlet</servlet-name>
	<servlet-name>I18n Servlet</servlet-name>

The defaults should be sufficient for nearly all circumstances. Because web.xml changes require stopping and possibly redeploying Liferay DXP (depending on your app server), test the defaults and make sure you really need to modify these settings. If you’re clustered, you must make these changes on all nodes.

Modifying Language Keys

Developers can add or modify certain core UI messages (e.g. Your request completed successfully.) by modifying the language keys that ship by default.

Right to Left

For languages that are displayed right to left, use the following language properties settings:


To display right to left by default, override these properties globally.

Localizing User Names

Users can change the prefix and suffix values for a locale. For example, for Spanish, the language_es.properties file contains these values:


For more information, see Using Liferay Language Settings.

Using Liferay Language Settings

Overriding Global Language Keys

Overriding a Module’s Language Keys

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