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Revision 2 as of 2009-11-22 23:01:23
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Editor: Cùran
Comment: -Typo
Revision 3 as of 2009-11-23 12:42:42
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Editor: Cùran
Comment: Put the variables in $HOME/.xsessionrc, not $HOME/.bashrc (diversion from what ibus-setup is telling).
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 to your {{{$HOME/.bashrc}}}.  to your {{{$HOME/.xsessionrc}}}. This is a diversion from what {{{ibus-setup}}} tells you, but needed to make it work for all applications inside a KDE session.

ibus is similar to SCIM in that it too allows a user to enter characters of a different language. E.g. entering Chinese while your system generally uses a German keyboard layout.

Basic information

ibus is a DBus-based daemon which supports different input method modules (IMmodules) and integrates well with e.g. KDE 4. ibus is - in contrast to SCIM - actively developed.

Using ibus in ...

The following sub sections hold information on how to use ibus in a specific desktop environment.


The KDE4 integration/support is already very well in Debian. Just follow the steps below:

  1. Select the IME (Input Method Engine) you want to use (a package search for »ibus-« shows you all available IMEs). This example will use ibus-table-array30, just replace it everywhere with the IME you selected.

  2. Run (as root)
    # aptitude install ibus-table-array30 ibus-qt4 ibus-gtk
  3. Run (as a user)
    $ ibus-setup 

    and configure ibus according to your wishes (don't forget to select at least one IME in the second tab).

  4. Add
    export GTK_IM_MODULE=ibus
    export XMODIFIERS=@im=ibus
    export QT_IM_MODULE=ibus

    to your $HOME/.xsessionrc. This is a diversion from what ibus-setup tells you, but needed to make it work for all applications inside a KDE session.

  5. Now you need a way to auto-start the ibus daemon on every login. KDE4 provides the Autostart folder for such occasions:

    $ echo "ibus-daemon -d -x -r -n kde" > $HOME/.kde/Autostart/ibus-daemon-autostart.sh && chmod +x $HOME/.kde/Autostart/ibus-daemon-autostart.sh
  6. Now you need to relogin to make the .bashrc settings global for your KDE session.

  7. After the relogin you can activate and deactivate the ibus input method in all applications with the keys you configured (default: Ctrl + Space) as you need it (if some characters can't be displayed you should install a font which carries the required characters).

As an additional note: there is a plasmoid called kimpanel in development (currently in kdereview), which will simplify the usage even further under KDE4. You can find it at the moment at http://websvn.kde.org/trunk/kdereview/plasma/applets/kimpanel/


Please add information on how to use ibus on Gnome.