Is it possible to show the seconds on the clock in GNOME 3?

5 Answers 5


Not sure when this path changed, but as of Ubuntu 13.04 the seconds display can be set in the terminal with:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface clock-show-seconds true

To turn seconds display off:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface clock-show-seconds false

and checked with:

gsettings get org.gnome.desktop.interface clock-show-seconds
  • 3
    For those who prefer the GUI way, @MichelSamia gives another answer based on gnome-tweak-tool
    – Didier L
    Jun 16, 2017 at 17:28
  • At first it did not work on my Debian 9. It gave: (process:23119): dconf-WARNING **: failed to commit changes to dconf: Cannot autolaunch D-Bus without X11 $DISPLAY. I checked the value of $DISPLAY and it was blank! So I started a new terminal, $DISPLAY was :0 and this time it worked. Nov 14, 2018 at 16:01
  • Works in Fedora 32 as well
    – Water
    May 1, 2020 at 18:17
  • 2
    Works on ubuntu 20.04 Nov 27, 2020 at 2:58
  • not working. Do I need to restart ?
    – Moon
    Jan 13, 2021 at 4:08

GUI way:

  1. launch gnome-tweak-tool, sometimes called Advanced Settings
  2. click the Top Bar menu
  3. enable Show seconds
  • 2
    I found this on my new RHEL 7 VM was called "Tweaks". It was a separate application from "Settings". May 18, 2020 at 19:51
  • 5
    gnome-tweak-tool is changed to now gnome-tweaks. Aug 24, 2022 at 10:03

The GUI way to do this, (on 22.04 LTS) seems to be:

sudo apt install gnome-tweaks

Before 20.04 LTS the package name was different:

sudo apt install gnome-tweak-tool

and then launch "Tweaks" either by searching for it in Applications menu or launching gnome-tweaks from terminal.

From there you'll see something like this:

Gnome Tweak Tool - Top Bar seconds adjustment

  • 4
    ugh. having to install a separate tool isn't "user-friendly" in my mind.
    – Michael
    Dec 2, 2020 at 0:49
  • @Michael so you better want to put strange things on Terminal? Mar 3, 2022 at 14:27

Yes, run this command in a Terminal:

gsettings set org.gnome.shell.clock show-seconds true

And you can verify with:

gsettings get org.gnome.shell.clock show-seconds

Or you can install dconf-tools Install dconf-tools and use dconf-editor to browse to org.gnome.shell.clock

  • 8
    No such schema 'org.gnome.shell.clock' → gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface clock-show-seconds true
    – Dereckson
    Jun 4, 2016 at 23:14

For MATE Desktop (the continuation and fork of GNOME 2 with GTK+ 3 support), you can achieve this using the graphical user interface (GUI)!

  • Right-click on date and time:
    enter image description here
  • Go to Preferences
  • Now enable the Show seconds
    enter image description here

The end result:
enter image description here

Drink beer and Vote me up, cause it rocks!

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