In this tutorial, you translate the user interface (UI) of a Magnolia app to another language by creating a new i18n properties file for the language and adding the file to the app. Don't worry if you're not a developer. You don't need a development environment – all you need is language skills and Magnolia.
The app whose UI labels and messages you are going to translate is the Bookshelf app, created in the My first content app tutorial. The labels and messages are in English and in this tutorial you internationalize the app for Spanish-speaking users.
The Bookshelf app is meant to be run as an app in Magnolia, so first you must install Magnolia. Before installing Magnolia, check that the following system components are already installed on your system.
Magnolia needs a Java Runtime Environment (JRE) from at least version 8. See the Certified stack page to confirm the latest supported Java version. Type
java -version in a terminal or command prompt. If the system reports a version number, Java is installed on your computer.
If you don't have Java, install it:
Java is not pre-installed on Mac OS X 10.7 and later. Download the latest Java from Oracle.
On Windows you need a Java SE Development Kit (JDK). The Java Runtime Environment (JRE) is not enough because the Tomcat application server does not recognize it.
What is the difference?
- JRE is for users who run Java programs on their computer.
- JDK is for developers who write Java-based applications.
Download and install JDK. By default JDK is installed in
C:\Program Files\Java\jdk-10.0.xx\. You can choose another location.
Check JAVA_HOME environment variable
- Open the command prompt.
setand press ENTER.
JAVA_HOMEin the command output and verify that the path points to your JDK installation directory, for example
JAVA_HOMEis missing or it points to the wrong directory, see Set JAVA_HOME environment variable below.
Set JAVA_HOME environment variable
- Right-click My Computer and select Properties.
- Go to the Advanced tab.
(In Windows 7+, right-click Computer and select Advanced System Settings, then Environment variables.)
- If the
JAVA_HOMEenvironment variable does not exist in User variables or System variables, create it:
- User variables apply to the currently signed-in user only. Create
JAVA_HOMEhere if you want it to apply only to the currently logged in user. These variables take precedence over system variables.
- System variables apply to all users. Create
JAVA_HOMEhere if you want it to apply to all users. You must be an administrator to modify a system environment variable.
- User variables apply to the currently signed-in user only. Create
- Set the value of
JAVA_HOMEto the path of your JDK installation directory, for example
- Optional step: Add the Magnolia
bindirectory to the
PATHvariable, for example
C:\Program Files\magnolia\apache-tomcat-x.y\bin. Setting the
PATHallows you to issue the Magnolia
stopcommands from anywhere without navigating to the installation directory first. Separate the path from existing paths with a semicolon ( ; ). If you do this, you also need to add
CATALINA_HOMEto environment variables. Set the value of
CATALINA_HOMEto the Tomcat installation directory, for example
- Click OK.
- Go back to Check JAVA_HOME environment variable above and test that the variable is found and has the correct value. You need to open a new command prompt since environment variables are session specific.
Alternatively you can set JAVA_HOME with a batch file. Add this line to
set command creates the
JAVA_HOME environment variable and sets its value to the JDK directory. The command is executed when Magnolia starts.
Download the latest Java from Oracle. The installation directory varies from one Linux system to another. For example, on Ubuntu Linux 10 the OpenJDK Runtime Environment is installed in
/usr/lib/jvm/java-10-openjdk/jre by default.
Download the latest Java from Oracle. You can install it in any directory such as
Magnolia CLI is an npm package providing a command line interface (CLI) tool to set up and facilitate light development with Magnolia. The Magnolia CLI tool runs on Node.js. If you do not have Node.js installed, go to Node.js and download and install the latest LTS version.
To check the version of your node installation, run the following command in a shell:
Run the following command in a shell to install Magnolia CLI:
Depending on your permissions and the location where you have installed Node.js, you may have to execute the command above with root permissions. Without installation permissions you will notice messages such as
npm ERR! in the shell.
On Linux or Mac OS X to run this command as root use:
If the installation is successful, you see the following or a similar output in the shell:
Once you have installed Magnolia CLI, test the installation by running the following command in the shell:
In this tutorial, you need Git to clone the Bookshelf app from our repository into your local Magnolia installation. You can check that Git is installed on your system by executing the
git --version command. If it is not installed, go to https://git-scm.com/downloads page and install it.
Installing and starting Magnolia
Now install Magnolia.
jumpstart command to install Magnolia. This command downloads, unpacks and pre-configures a Magnolia bundle of your choice.
jumpstart command automatically creates a light modules directory for you in the current folder. If you already have a different directory that you want to use for light modules, use the
-p option with the jumpstart command to specify the path to your existing light modules folder. For example:
mgnl jumpstart -p /Users/<username>/<shared-projects>/light-modules/
To install Magnolia:
Change to the directory to where you want to install the Magnolia bundle. For example:
Execute the Magnolia CLI
magnolia-community-demo-webappcontaining Magnolia Community Edition bundled with the Travel Demo and a Tomcat server. It creates folders for the Tomcat server and for the light modules according to the CLI configuration.
Once the setup operation is complete, you should see a message similar to this one:
The following files and folders are created:
mgnl start command to start Magnoolia. In the parent directory of
The command installs and starts Magnolia. This is complete when you see a message like
Server startup in 112737 ms. You can then access the UI of the Author instance.
Log into the Author instance
and log in to the Author instance with:
Installing the Bookshelf app
- Go to the
- Make sure the app is accessible in the App launcher: Open the Configuration app and verify that
bookshelf-appis a subnode of the
- In the App launcher, refresh your browser. The app should now appear in the Edit group.
- In your user profile, set the language preference to Spanish. Log out and into Magnolia again. Open the Bookshelf app. Only some of the labels are shown in Spanish. These are typically the more generic message and label keys coming from the UI framework:
Translating the app UI to Spanish
In the steps below, you add the missing Spanish translations:
- Go to the
bookshelf-messages_en.propertiesfile contains the English values for the app labels and messages.
- Make a copy of the file and name it
In the new file, translate the values from English to Spanish and save your work.
We suggest you translate in an external text editor.
If you open the file in the internal editor of the Resource files app, the resource becomes a copy in the JCR workspace that is prioritized by Magnolia over the original file on the file system. If you make subsequent changes to the file on the file system, your changes will not be taken into account. JCR configuration overrides file system configuration.
Note that the
# Other messages and button labelssection contains additional Spanish message keys. These have been added because they are defined in other Magnolia modules and affect the action, field, and button labels in the Bookshelf app.
Testing the translation
When you save the file, Magnolia immediately detects the change. Refresh your browser to see the new app labels.
Contribute your translations to Magnolia
Have you translated a Magnolia app? Join the Internationalization effort. Send us the translated
.properties files. We will add them to the product.