Ubuntu – How to show full date and time in Nautilus/Files 3.6+ list view


The list view of Nautilus 3.6 shows the dates files were modified in a variety of ways: the hour and minute if modified on the current day, and the month and day if modified during the current year, and the year tacked on if modified during a previous year. I would like to see the entire date and time consistently on all the files (e.g.: Sat 20 Apr 2012 01:28:34 PM EDT).

I had this set up before, but I can't figure out how to do so with version 3.6. I did find this question, but the answers no longer apply to Nautilus 3.6: How to change the date format in Nautilus list columns?

How can I do so in Nautilus 3.6+?

Best Answer

You can get back the full date by recompiling nautilus:

sudo apt-get build-dep nautilus
sudo apt-get install quilt
export QUILT_PATCHES=debian/patches
apt-get source nautilus
cd nautilus*
quilt new 999_full_dates.patch
quilt edit libnautilus-private/nautilus-column-utilities.c

Change line 77 from

"attribute", "date_modified",


"attribute", "date_modified_full",

Rebuild and install modified package:

quilt refresh
fakeroot dpkg-buildpackage
cd ..
killall nautilus
sudo dpkg -i nautilus_*.deb
nautilus &

As always, you have to perform these steps every time there is an update for nautilus in Ubuntu.

Now, a full analysis of the problem:

The actual patch which caused this change is this one.

The function nautilus_file_get_date_as_string gains an extra gboolean parameter "compact" - when true the abbreviated date is returned.

This function is never called directly - it is accessed through the wrapper function nautilus_file_get_string_attribute_q. This function takes attribute parameters like "date_modified". To accommodate the new signature of nautilus_file_get_date_as_string a new attribute is added "date_modified_full". After this change, any code in nautilus which uses the file date string will get the abbreviated date.

Finally, the file properties dialog is updated to use "date_modified_full" attribute.

So in order to have nautilus display the full date in list view, it is only necessary to change one line of code: in libnautilus-private/nautilus-column-utilities.c, line 77 from "date_modified" to "date_modified_full".

A slightly more useful patch could add a new column type which would show the full date, making this an optional feature, and only add 10 lines of code.