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I have ubuntu 10.04 running Thunderbird 14.0

How do I change the date format to international standard? (eg; 2012-07-26)

My system date already shows this format.

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Does depend on what you want to achieve - in Ubuntu 12.04 I got stuck with US locale settings (mm/dd/yyyy), wanted to switch to UK (dd/mm/yyyy), and couldn't find any tips.

Then I stumbled on system settings-> language support -> regional formats tab, change to English (United Kingdom). Easy!

Hope this helps someone

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I know of 4 ways to alter TB's date. Take your pick ;) (you just need 1)

  • Quick Locale Switcher add-on for TB. Might be the easiest one.

  • Mozilla's official documentation in changing date formats.

    In Thunderbird, choose Tools –> Options –> Advanced –> General > Config Editor



    V   Meaning                                 Example date and time
    0   No date                                 10:23 AM
    1   Your system's long* date format         Friday, December 31 2003 10:23 AM
    2   Your system's short* date format        12/31/1999 10:23 AM
    3   Year and month, separated by a slash    1999/12 10:23 AM
    4   Abbreviated day name                    Fri 10:23 AM 
  • Change the startup command to

    export LC_TIME=en_GB.UTF-8 && thunderbird %u

    (Dash Main Menu > Internet > Thunderbird > Properties) Ofcourse change en_GB.UTF-8 to what you need

  • Change your custom locale (/usr/share/i18n/locales) as explained on

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Unfortunately those answers don't show you how to set the date to YYYY-MM-DD format.

If you follow these instructions, setting the LC_TIME variable to en_DK.utf8 (I'd advise putting it in a script that calls Thunderbird) it will show YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM in the message view and give you the option of using YYYY-MM-DD in the calendar as the 'short' format.

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I put "LC_TIME=en_DK.utf8 " at the beginning of the command value in my Thunderbird menu shortcut. – Gringo Suave May 27 '14 at 0:11

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