First let me say that the new extensions support in Ubuntu 17.10/Gnome 3 is a great feature.

My question has to do with formatting the time and data that appear in the upper bar at the top of the user interface (Gnome 3) after logging in. Note that I am running Ubuntu 17.10, but I login using Xorg instead of Wayland (using the gear below my login name).

Background: I want my display to be dayofweekfullname monthfullname date year, hours (12-hour format) minutes seconds am/pm.

1) I first used gesttings. I was able to configure the date year, hours (12-hour format) minutes seconds am/pm properly. However, both the day of the week and the month name still appeared as abbreviations.

2) I then tried dconf and entered in the custom string (e.g. %A %B ...) in the Custom Time Format field. My first observation was that that the changes I made with gsettings were not shown here. Why would that be? And also, when I entered and applied the new custom settings in dconf they were not applied to the time/date format at the top of the screen. Again, why?

3) I then found out about the Clock Overide Extension--it worked like a charm--now I have my display showing the date and time formatted exactly as I want! Problem solved.

4) But... after setting the format with Clock Overide I went back to dconf and noticed that none of the custom changes made in Clock Overide appear there. Why? I would think that if I changed how the date and time was formatted, any tool that allowed my to do so would reflect the custom changes made via another tool/method. Please clarify for my understanding.

Thank you.

1 Answer 1


The following description is based on looking into the extension source available https://github.com/stuartlangridge/gnome-shell-clock-override/blob/master/extension.js .

The gnome3 bar date/time label does not provide a configuration setting in any form. What this extension does is actually replacing gnomes3 top bar label text during the runtime of the extension.

  • Thank you. I wish I understood the linked code. I appreciate the answer but it would be very helpful if my questions could be answered. You clarify what the extension does but my questions in 2) and 4) don't seem to be addressed.
    – user601996
    Nov 14, 2017 at 16:44
  • I addressed your question with the "does not provide a configuration". Whatever you observe on dconf is irrelevant, because dconf is not used by the date/time. Questions 2) and 4) do not make sense because there is no configuration beeing used. Nov 15, 2017 at 18:47

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