1. Overview

Depending on our location, we may need to change the first day in the GNOME Calendar in Linux. In addition, this task becomes essential to align with global standards and enhance organizational efficiency in professional environments.

In this tutorial, we’ll check out methods for setting Monday as the first day in the GNOME Calendar in Linux.

Notably, our examples involve changing the time format to Ireland in a Ubuntu 22.04 GNOME desktop.

2. Problem Statement

In Linux environments, the GNOME Calendar adheres to the locale settings configured on the system. These locale settings reflect different aspects of the user interface, such as date and time format. Moreover, we can also set the first day of the week in the GNOME calendar using the system’s locale settings.

For instance, based on the default configuration of our current locale, Sunday is set as the first day of the week in the GNOME Calendar:

checking default weekday setting in linux calendar

However, we might prefer Monday as the first day of the week.

To apply that setting, we can configure our current locale to a country such as Ireland, which considers Monday as the first day in the GNOME Calendar.

For this, we can use different methods, such as editing the /etc/default/locale file, a specific locales file, using the System Settings, Language Support, and the Week Start on Monday Again… GNOME shell extension.

3. Editing the /etc/default/locale File

/etc/default/locale is a system-wide configuration file used to define locale-related environment variables. Moreover, it enables us to determine language, character encoding, and date and time formats for different applications across the system.

In addition, we can edit the /etc/default/locale file to set Monday as the first day in GNOME.

First, we open the /etc/default/locale file using a text editor such as nano:

$ sudo nano /etc/default/locale

Within the file, we set the value of the LC_TIME environment variable as en_IE.UTF-8:

LC_TIME="en_IE.UTF-8"

In this case, the LC_TIME variable updates the date and time formatting according to the IE or Ireland locale.

After adding the code, we press CTRL+O and Return to save the /etc/default/locale file and CTRL+X to exit the nano editor:

adding locale setting using nano editor on linux

Then, we go to the Activities menu, type Log out, and open the prompt window:

logging out from current linux session

Next, we click the Log Out button to log out from the current session:

confirming to log out

After that, we enter the password to again log in to the system:

entering system password to log in

Now, we open the GNOME Calendar from the top bar to check the result:

viewing changed week start day on linux

Thus, we can now see Monday is the first day in the GNOME Calendar on Linux.

4. Editing a Specific locales File

We can also edit a specific locales file associated with the current locale to set Monday as the first day in the GNOME Calendar of the system. This approach enables us to make changes in the format of the GNOME Calendar without changing the current locale.

To apply modifications to the locales file, we first check our current locale setting related to time:

$ locale | grep LC_TIME
LC_TIME=en_CA.UTF-8

Let’s break down this command:

  • locale command displays the current locale settings on the system
  • pipe (|) operator redirects the output of locale to grep
  • grep searches for the line containing the LC_TIME pattern and extracts its value

As a result, we can see that Canadian English en_CA is set as the current locale with the UTF-8 character encoding.

Now, we open the /usr/share/i18n/locales/en_CA file of our locale using the nano editor:

$ sudo nano /usr/share/i18n/locales/en_CA

After that, we look for the first_weekday entry in the file and set its value to 2:

first_weekday 2

Then, we press CTRL+O and Return to save the /usr/share/i18n/locales/en_CA file and CTRL+X to exit the nano editor:

adding code in en_ca file in linux

Next, we use locale-gen to regenerate the locale files with sudo privileges:

$ sudo locale-gen
Generating locales (this might take a while)...
  en_AG.UTF-8... done
  en_AU.UTF-8... done
  en_BW.UTF-8... done
  en_CA.UTF-8... done
  en_DK.UTF-8... done
  en_GB.UTF-8... done
  en_HK.UTF-8... done
  en_IE.UTF-8... done
  en_IL.UTF-8... done
  en_IN.UTF-8... done
  en_ZW.UTF-8... done
  fr_BE.UTF-8... done
  fr_CA.UTF-8... done
  fr_CH.UTF-8... done
  fr_FR.UTF-8... done
  fr_LU.UTF-8... done
  ur_PK.UTF-8... done
Generation complete.

This process may take several minutes to generate the locales based on the updated configuration.

Once the locale generation is complete, we log out of our Linux session, and then log in again to see the changes:

viewing monday as start day on linux

As a result, Monday becomes the first day of the week in the GNOME Calendar on our system.

5. Using System Settings

System Settings offers a more intuitive and user-friendly interface for setting Monday as the first day in the GNOME Calendar on Linux.

For this, we bring up the Activities menu, type Settings, and open the application:

opening settings on linux

Then, we go to the Language and Region settings and click on the Formats option:

opening format settings on linux

Next, we select Ireland from the Common Formats list and click Done:

setting new locale on linux

After that, we click the Restart button to restart the session for changes to take effect:

restarting system on linux
Then, we click on the Log Out option to log out from the current session:

logging out from current linux session
After logging in again, we open the GNOME Calendar of our system:

viewing changed weekstart day on linux

Consequently, Monday is now the first calendar day.

6. Using the Language Support Utility

In Linux, the Language Support utility is used to manage language-related configurations. For instance, we can use it to set Monday as the first day of the week in the GNOME Calendar.

To do so, we open the Activities menu, type Language Support, and open it:

launching language support settings on linux

Next, we switch to the Regional Formats tab and click on the current format, which is English (United States):

opening regional formats of language support in linux

Then, we select English (Ireland) format from the drop-down menu:

selecting English (ireland) as regional format in linux
After that, we click on the Apply system-wide button to apply the format changes throughout the system:

applying system wide regional format changes on linux

To activate the changes, we log out of the current session and log back in.

Finally, we open the GNOME Calendar to view the new weekday format:

viewing monday as the first day in gnome calendar

Again, we see our changes are applied successfully.

7. Using the Week Start on Monday Again… Extension

As with other customizations, we can also use the Week Start on Monday Again… extension to set Monday as the first day of the week in the calendar.

For this, we open the Chrome browser, visit the Week Start on Monday Again… GNOME extension page, and click on its toggle:

downloading week start on monday again extension in linux

Then, we click on Install to start the installation of the Week Start on Monday Again… extension:

installing week start on monday again extension in linux

After a successful installation, let’s open our GNOME Calendar:

opening gnome calendar to see monday as first weekday

Thus, the Week Start on Monday Again… extension automatically sets Monday as the first day of the week in the GNOME Calendar.

8. Conclusion

In this article, we learned different methods for setting Monday as the first day of the GNOME Calendar in Linux.

We saw that editing the /etc/default/locale file, using the System Settings, and the Language support changes the current locale to set Monday as the first weekday. Further, editing a specific locales file enables us to change the GNOME Calendar format without updating the current locale settings.

On the other hand, the Week Start on Monday Again… extension automatically sets Monday as the first day of the week for the GNOME interface after installation.

Ultimately, we can select any of these methods based on our preferences for using the command line or graphical system interface.

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