Changing date format in Thunderbird under Linux

Being located in Sweden, I want all dates in all applications to be displayed according to the Swedish date format, which is YYYY-MM-DD (e.g. 2006-02-26 for 26-Feb-2006). This is typically not a problem, if you’re willing to switch everything else over to Swedish also, and/or if you don’t mind having things like names of months and weekdays in Swedish. What I want to accomplish is a locale setting of en_SE, which turns out to be invalid by most standards and libraries 🙁

My main point of concern is the date format used by Mozilla Thunderbird; listing several hundred messags in a folder with the wrong date format screws up my “background reading ability” 🙂 Well, not really.

Anyway, to the point (finally you say).. since I could not possibly get this to function exactly as I wanted, I ended up writing a really small and really simple shell script that looks like this:

#!/bin/sh
export LC_TIME=sv_SE
/usr/local/bin/thunderbird/thunderbird

Another, more versatile, method is to write a small shell script like this (I call the script ‘mylocale’):

#!/bin/sh
export LC_TIME=sv_SE
$1

And then use it as this:

/home/joho/mylocale /usr/local/bin/thunderbird/thunderbird

You can then use the ‘mylocale’-script for running any locale-aware application.

I did find en_DK, which for some reason turns out to be a valid locale setting for LC_TIME and others.

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