How to show date and complete time in the Ubuntu Top Panel

Tweak Settings to show Date and Time in the Top bar

By default settings of Ubuntu GNOME editions, you only see the day and time in the mid of the top panel. It would be helpful to display the weekday, date, and time as well which can come in handy while writing emails, preparing schedules, or making a presentation.

The default Ubuntu GNOME settings only include options set the Time Format including 24-hour and 12-hour format.

GNOME Time and Date Settings
GNOME Time and Date Settings

Display Day, Date, and complete Time in Ubuntu

This guide works in Ubuntu 17.10, 18.04, and basically all GNOME editions. We shall discuss command-line way as well as the GUI way. You can use any of the methods, but basically, both are doing exactly the same. In both the methods, the GNOME GSettings are getting edited. Method 2 uses the dconf editor which is nothing but a user interface for accessing the GNOME Gsettings.

Method 1: Command-line Way

Step 1) Launch ‘Terminal’.

Step 2) Copy and paste the following commands one at a time followed by pressing enter.

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

That’s it! You should immediately see the Day, Date, and Time including Seconds in the Top panel.

Method 2: GUI Way

The same setting adjustment can be made by graphical user interface method by using dconf-editor.

Step 1) Launch ‘Terminal’.

Step 2) Enter the following command and press enter to install dconf-editor.

sudo apt install dconf-editor

Step 3) Go to “Activities” and launch “dconf-editor”.

Launching dconf-editor
Launching dconf-editor

Step 4) Carefully navigate to org/gnome/desktop/interface. Turn on the “clock-show-date” and “clock-show-seconds”.

Dconf Editor - Show Date and Complete Time
Dconf Editor – Show Date and Complete Time

You should instantly see the day, date, and time including seconds in the top bar.

Kiran Kumar
Hi there! I'm Kiran Kumar, founder of FOSSLinux.com. I'm an avid Linux lover and enjoy hands-on with new promising distros. Currently, I'm using Ubuntu as a daily driver and run several other distros such as Fedora, Solus, Manjaro, Debian, and some new ones on my test PC and virtual machines. I have a day job as an Engineer, and this website is one of my favorite past time activities especially during Winter ;). When I'm not writing for FOSSLinux, I'm seen biking and hiking on scenic trails. Hope you enjoy using this website as much as I do writing for it. Feedback from readers is something that inspires me to do more, and spread Linux love!. If you find a time, drop me an email or feedback from the 'Contact' page. Or simply leave a comment below if you found this article useful. Have a good day!

6 COMMENTS

  1. I was puzzled for much longer than I care to admit at step 4 of “Method 2” (using dconf-editor) since the screen I saw when I first started that program didn’t at all match the screenshot depicted in that step. The instructions here do say to “carefully navigate to org/gnome/desktop/interface” but they don’t explain *how*. I eventually found you have to click on the tiny icon (a check within a circle) that’s displayed at the far left of the title bar for the window the program runs in. I was especially confused because the screen I landed at upon starting the program put me at the top-tier “/desktop” level of the dconf database hierarchy, which also contains a subordinate “gnome” directory of its own, that’s of course distinct from the org/gnome your instructions specify. This would have been obvious to people who’ve used Gnome before; it wasn’t at all obvious to me. I did learn a lot about dconf as I tried to make dconf-editor work, though, and your website really is a great resource, so many thanks for your work!

  2. After installing the ppa. then updating a message came up in the terminal saying theppa was disabled because it did not have a final relase note.???

  3. I’m using Ubuntu 19.10 and just using these 2 command-line entries did not show the day. However, using the following command-line worked…

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

    Thank you for the nice and simple tutorial. I wouldn’t have figured it out as quick without it.

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