intltool-update(8) updates PO template file and merge translations with it


intltool-update [option]...
intltool-update LANGCODE


intltool-update generates new po file templates from source code, and merges existing translations with these new po templates.

You must change working directory to the subdirectory containing translations (usually "po/") before running intltool-update.


When executing intltool-update , only one mode of operation is allowed each time.

Mode of operation

Generate po template (.pot) only.
Executes intltool-extract(8) to extract strings inside XML/INI style files listed in, and writes the extracted strings into header files, so that the strings can be recognised by xgettext(1).
Search for left out files, which should have been listed in or POTFILES.skip. A list of all these files are written into another file called "missing".
Display a status report for all translations in the software.
Merge LANGCODE.po with existing PO template.

Other options

Manually specify PO template file name, instead of determining the name automatically from source. Useful with -p/--pot option. This option has an additional effect: the name of current working directory is no more limited to "po" or "po-*".
Manually specify output FILENAME after merging old translation with PO template. Useful either with -d/--dist option or without any option.
Display lots of feedback.
Show version information.
Show usage and basic help information.


Creates a new PO template from source code, and name it foo.pot:

intltool-update --pot --gettext-package=foo

Updates translation file xy.po using existing po template called "bar.pot", and writes output into "xy1.po":

intltool-update --dist --gettext-package=bar --output-file=xy1.po xy

Creates new PO template and updates translation file xy.po (xy.po is overwritten with new content):

intltool-update xy
(same as intltool-update --pot && intltool-update --dist xy)


Contains list of source files which contain translatable strings, one file per line.
po/POTFILES.ignore (obsolete)
Contains list of source files which should be ignored when searching for translatable strings.


Report bugs to


Darin Adler <[email protected]>
Kenneth Christiansen <[email protected]>
Maciej Stachowiak <[email protected]>