Manipulating the system formats on a computer helps tailor its settings according to your regional preferences. Date, time, number, and currency formats can differ based on cultural, linguistic, and regional contexts. On Ubuntu, the system formats are managed by the Locale settings, which dictate the representation of these values.

The Ubuntu desktop environment provides an intuitive graphical user interface to configure these settings. However, if you're running an Ubuntu server or prefer the command-line, these formats can also be adjusted using the locale and timedatectl commands. This article guides you through both methods.

Steps to adjust system date and time formats on Ubuntu Desktop:

  1. Navigate to the system settings or system preferences.
  2. Go to the “Region & Language” section.
  3. In the “Formats” dropdown, select your desired regional format. The system will adjust the date, time, number, and currency formats accordingly.
  4. Verify the changes by looking at the system date and time in the taskbar.

Steps to adjust system date and time formats using command line:

  1. Open the terminal.
  2. Check the current locale settings with the command:
    $ locale
  3. If you wish to change the locale, first generate the required locale if it isn't already available. For instance, to generate the US English locale:
    $ sudo locale-gen en_US.UTF-8

    Replace “en_US.UTF-8” with your desired locale.

  4. Now, set the system locale using the following:
    $ sudo update-locale LANG=en_US.UTF-8
  5. To verify the changes, display the date:
    $ date
  6. If you wish to adjust the timezone, utilize the timedatectl command:
    $ sudo timedatectl set-timezone America/New_York

    Replace “America/New_York” with your desired timezone.

After following these steps, your Ubuntu system will represent date, time, numbers, and currency in the format associated with your selected region or language. Adjustments made will persist across system restarts and user logins.

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