I had to reinstall Ubuntu 12.04 on my desktop pc after something went awry while trying to update to 12.10.

Before reinstalling, my clock had the following format: Wed 13:21:

Wed 13:21

And now, this is what I see: 13:21 2012-12-19, Wednesdsay:

13:21 2012-12-19, Wednesdsay

I can't for the life of me remember how to fix it, plus I don't think I did anything different from my previous install. If I disable the show-date function either from terminal or gnome tweak tool, all I see is the time. What I'd like it to show would simply be Day and Time, like in the first pic.

Can anyone help?


When you say, "Gnome shell clock", I presume that you do not mean Unity's version?

This is what I have on file. Please try it and let us know whether or not it works for you.

You need gconf-editor ("Configuration Editor") installed; if not, please install it first; you can do this from Ubuntu Software Centre.

  • Open gconf-editor > apps > panel > applets > clock_screen0 > prefs ("clock_screen0" may have a slightly different name).
  • format > custom
  • custom_format > %a %H:%M

The date format is the same as described in the date manual (open a terminal and enter man date).

The format can also include limited text formatting such as <span …> and <sup>. Use %n for a newline. Here is an example:

<sup><span rise="1000" font_desc="Droid Sans 6.5" color="#878787" weight="normal">%a %d %b</span></sup>%n<sub><span rise="6000" font_desc="Droid Sans 7.5" color="#878787" weight="bold">%I:%M %p</span></sub>
  • Sorry, I forgot to specify that I was indeed asking about the Gnome Shell clock and not the Unity one. When I try opening the gconf-editor, I have no "applets" menu entry under apps>panel. Where else should I look? – Edocentric Dec 19 '12 at 13:28

Look in D-Conf editor. com > canonical > appmenu > datetime enter image description here

Install Dconf

  • Found it, tried changing it as per the below post, but nothing happened. The funny thing that I noticed is that when my screen locks after idling for a little while, the top bar shows the time exactly as I want it. As soon as I unlock it though, it goes back to how it is now. – Edocentric Dec 19 '12 at 16:55
  • Edocentric, did you log out and back in again after making the change? – Paddy Landau Dec 20 '12 at 9:30

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