Ubuntu – How to change the format of the date & time displayed in top panel


By default date and time is displayed by the clock applet on the top right of the gnome desktop in Ubuntu. For me this displays something like "Tue Aug 3, 19:45". I would like to change it to make the date terser and to include e.g., ISO week number – to something like 03/08-19:45-W31.2

Is there anyway I can specify a "format string" for how the date-time is displayed ?

Best Answer

  1. Open gconf-editor by pressing Alt+F2 and typing gconf-editor
  2. Navigate to apps -> panel -> applets.
  3. Look for your applet. In my case it is called applet_3, on another computer its name is clock_0. Maybe a good way is to search (Strg+f or for US keyboards Ctrl+f, activate both fields in the search menu) for ClockApplet (case must match).
  4. Go to prefs. Change the value of format to custom and change custom_format to whatever you like. The syntax comes from strftime().
  5. The format will immediately change if you enter some values.

Note: This option will not work in 10.10's netbook edition, see this question for a solution.

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