Sunday, 26 May 2019

Customizing tray/taskbar date display in Ubuntu to show the actual date


In my Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS, I see that the date/time displayed on the desktop on the taskbar above is like - "Sun 12.00 PM".


You have to actually click on it to see the current date. In this post, I will show you how to add a date to the format that you see on the top. It would have been much easier if Ubuntu gave us this customization in settings itself, but unfortunately, that is not the case, at least not yet.

Customizing tray/taskbar date display in Ubuntu to show the actual date

There are two ways you can do this. I will show the most user-friendly method first.  But if you are more comfortable with Linux command line terminal and executing commands go to 2. advance section below.

1. User-Friendly - GUI Way

If you do not prefer using the command line, then you can install a GUI based tool. The tool name is "gnome-tweak-tool". You can search for "GNOME tweaks" in the Ubuntu software center. Install it.

Launch it and you should see the following screen. Go to Top Bar for date settings.

You can change the configuration as needed. You can see there are a bunch of other options here as well - like show battery percentage. All yours to play with :)

NOTE: If you do not prefer the Ubuntu software center but apt-get to install software, you can use the following command to install and launch the above application.

sudo apt install gnome-tweak-tool
gnome-tweaks  #  now launch it

2. Advanced - CLI Way

There are two commands that you need to know here -
  1. gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface clock-show-date true
    • makes the date appear
  2. gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface clock-show-seconds true
    • switches the seconds display on
You can similarly replace "set" by "get" to see the current values. By default, both values are set to false which is why you don't see a date or seconds.

Now let's go ahead and set these values to true and see the change of date/time format in the taskbar above.

And the result is -

I personally don't like seconds showing up. Just date works for me, so I have set accordingly. You can have settings that best suit you. You can do a similar thing with battery percentage as well with following command -

  • gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface show-battery-percentage true

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