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jadukor 06-07-2006 03:07 AM

Thunderbird date-format problem
Hi all

I am newbie running Slackware10.2 with KDE desktop. I have long since
upgraded to "mozilla-thunderbird-1.5-i686-1jim" which I downloaded from

I want to change the date format of thunderbird to the default format
that I have configured for KDE (SHORTWEEKDAY-DD-SHORTMONTH-YY). My dates
show up as Tue-07-Jun-06. Basically I get confused between date & month
so I at lest like to keep one of them in words.

I did a bit of searching & found this site

My first question is why did all the pages that I came across, referred
to this (user.js) file? I did not find any such file, but I did find
something called "prefs.js" /in/my/home/.thunderbird which seems to have
the same function.

So I added a line to the file (prefs.js) as per the instruction on
the page

user_pref("mail.ui.display.dateformat.default", 1);

it was supposed to show me time like this

Friday, December 31 2003 10:23 AM

but unfortunately it had no effect!! the date format remained as it was
before (06/07/2006 12:30 PM).

Then I installed this (configdate-0.3.6-tb.xpi) extension, which (as I
realized later) just automates the above mentioned process; and it also
had no effect (no surprise there I guess).

My dates (in thunderbird) keep showing as 06/07/2006 12:30 PM

I did check the /patch section for Slackware10.2 at <> & it
had mozilla-thunderbird-1.0.7
Could it be possible that thunderbird-1.5 is not compatible with
Slackware10.2 ?? or am I doing something wrong??

Oh! I am also using a custom compiled 2.6.13 kernel & my Location is KDE
is Bangladesh... could that have anything to with this all??


cdhgee 06-07-2006 03:58 AM

There is no issue with compatibility between TB and Slackware - TB obviously runs, from your description, so there isn't a compatibility issue from that point of view.

It could be that the preference you mention (mail.ui.display.dateformat.default) is not supported (or no longer supported) in TB 1.5. Have you tried it in 1.0.7 to see if it works in that?

David Gee

noranthon 06-29-2006 11:54 PM

You have to create the file user.js

Detailed instructions here:

wiweb 11-23-2006 08:24 AM


After hours of search, I succeed to have the date format YYYY-MM-DD (also called ISO format) correctly displayed in Mozilla Thunderbird (version 1.0.2 (20060830)) with KDE (release 3.3.2) on a Debian distribution (3.1r3) on an Intel PC.

It's a bit dirty, but it works!

I launch Thunderbird with:

<< export LC_ALL="";export LC_TIME="en_DK.utf8";/usr/bin/mozilla-thunderbird >>

The following locales are installed on my PC, but I think only en_DK.utf8 is needed in this case:

user@myhost $ locale -a

Note: this works with Firefox too! (Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.7.10) Gecko/20060902 Firefox/1.0.4 (Debian package 1.0.4-2 sarge11))

<< export LC_ALL="";export LC_TIME="en_DK.utf8";/usr/bin/firefox >>

written on 2006-11-23

arubin 11-23-2006 10:58 AM

No need for such complication.

Just add


export LANG=en_GB
export LC_TIME=en_GB
to /etc/profiles.h/


ek2 05-07-2008 03:03 PM


I ran into the same thing, but LC_ALL was set correctly when I checked in a console (do echo $LC_ALL in a console to see whether that's the case for you, too). So I ended up with two possible solutions:
- check [x] run in terminal in the K-Menu (nothing I liked to anticipate)
or add
- LC_ALL=<your preffered locale> &&
infront of the executable path, so for me it looked like this in the end:
LC_ALL=de_DE@euro && /usr/bin/thunderbird

Somewhat dirty, I presume, but that's the best way I could think of.
Colin ( won't let me post the URL as a link,* so google for "HOWTO: Customise Thunderbird Date Format" - first hit is our guy) has written a nice expression to see what values are possible for LC_ALL and what the date format would be on your machine.

Best regards!

* the mechanism regards smiles from their very own menu as links - how crappy is that? -___-

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