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I am German, but I use only English software. Hence, I am also using English Ubuntu. It's not because I don't know how to install German Ubuntu. It's because I prefer to work with English software environment. However, I would like to keep date & time format in German format, just as I use a German keyboard layout in English Ubuntu.

I can set the time format to 24h time. But how can I set the date format to German time format? It is irritating for me to have the day number before the time numbers:

In other words, instead of "Oct 14 15:16" I want it to display "14 Okt" or (if only English language is available) "14 Oct 15:16" or "14th Oct 15:16".

At least, the number of the day should be displayed before the month. In Windows, it was no problem to choose time/date/currency settings according to a chosen country.

Where can I do this in Ubuntu? The best would be if I could freely enter the date/time format myself with variables (DD.MM etc).

I found answers for Ubuntu 11.04, but not for Ubuntu 12.04.

I am using Ubuntu 12.04, 64-bit.

Keep in mind that I am a beginner. So I'd like to be able to do this via GUI, if possible.

EDIT: I found the answer in a forum.

  1. Go to System Settings... and choose Language Support. There are two tabs, Language and Reginal Formats. You are by default on the Language tab.

  2. On the Language tab, click Install / Remove Languages.

  3. A window with a list of languages opens.

  4. Mark the language(s) you want to add for your time/date/currency format.

  5. Click Apply Changes.

  6. Ubuntu will now download and install the additional language files, as well as help files of other applications in this language. So don't be irritated.

  7. When Ubuntu has finished applying the changes, switch to Regional Formats tab. (Do not change the Language for menus and windows on the Language tab if you only want to change the date/time/unit format).

  8. There you can choose from the dropdown list the language for your preferred format for date/time/currency/unit.

  9. Log out and log in again to have the changes take effect.

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Exactly. As your answer is much more detailed than mine, I would suggest to remove your edit, place it as an answer and accept it as the right answer. – laurent Oct 14 '12 at 14:09

If you want to change the time format to German , you must install the German language from the Language Support and then set the "Regional Settings" in German



If you want to change the format in Date and Time , you must install dconf-tool . From terminal do

sudo apt-get install dconf-tools

Find it through Dash by writing dconf open it and goto Com > Canonical > Indicator > Datetime and from there you can change the format.


Logout and Login for changes to take effect.

The default format is %l:%M %p , you will change it to %M:%l %p


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Changing custom-time-format in dconf-editor didn't affect the date shown in the panel, even after logging in again. At least %Y-%m-%d %H:%M ends up showing only %H:%M, even if show-day is enabled. – l0b0 Oct 22 '12 at 22:56
time-format has to be set to custom for custom-time-format to have any effect. – hdgarrood May 9 '13 at 19:42

You can change the date and numbers display according to your country in Settings > Language support (not sure about the exact wording of this option as my version is not in English).

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