Every user can set locale in settings. It is available for every user. Don't know if you can override it on their behalf.
Directly in posgres?
I don't want to be involved either with updating directly in Postgres (too risky), or via the server admin interface. And in this case, users cannot login to the Tableau Server directly so they don't have option of doing it via settings, rather they have access to a custom built portal.
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I've had to set this en masse in the past myself and if you do decide to go the postgres route, the setting is in the USER_PREFS table. From a risk point of view, regarding a direct table update I'd put this at low risk. I don't know how you onboard your users, but maybe you could schedule a script to run daily to apply this update (we used to set it as part of the daily script we ran to import users via the AD and set their defualt landing page in the same table - both of these tasks now obsolete in v10.1 we're using, but ran for 18 months + on v9 with no issues).
super helpful Donna, thanks! Did you grant update rights for this table to the readonly id or did you just have the script run with the admin account?
We actually granted rights to the tableau id on the postgresdb (as we'd granted this user rights before readonly came along pre v9 to disable the schedules on our passive server as part of backup routine).