Living in the United States, it is most common to have dates expressed like the following:

  • Oct 12, 2010
  • October, 12, 2010
  • 10/12/2010
  • Tue Oct 12
  • Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I prefer the big endian form for my dates like below:

  • 2010 October 12
  • 2010-10-12
  • 2010 Oct 12, Tuesday

or the little endian form

  • 12 October 2010
  • Tuesday 12 October 2010
  • 12.10.2010

4 digit years, 2 digit month

Without changing the locales information for my currency, etc, how would I go about setting this up so that system wide it can be expressed in either of the types of forms.


This page has a good walkthrough for what you want:


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You can set LC_TIME separately to a locale that supports those (but make sure that that locale is supported on your system!).

You can add support for a locale with System --> Administration --> Language Support in the GUI, or with locale-gen (read the manual, it's not trivial) on the command line.

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  • The GUI does not support changing individual items such as date or time. It only supports changing in bulk the display of numbers, dates, and currency formats either for the user or system wide. – Casey Keller Oct 12 '10 at 6:01

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