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 for pinyin input install DebPkg:ibus-pinyin.
 1. install the necessary fonts.
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 1. Logout and re-login, done.  1. Logout and re-login.
 1. The '''ibus''' input method can be activated and deactivated in all applications with the keys configured (default: ''Ctrl'' + ''Space'').

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 under ...

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


The manual way

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 .xsessionrc 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).

The "kimpanel" way

kimpanel is now in Debian (in the package plasma-widgets-addons). Here you should only need the first step from the manual way, install plasma-widgets-addons additionally and add the kimpanel to your Plasma workspace.


For example, I assume you want to use chewing input of Chinese

  1. Run in a terminal:
    # apt-get install ibus ibus-chewing im-switch

    for pinyin input install ibus-pinyin.

  2. install the necessary fonts.
  3. Run i-bus preferences in the GUI environment, and add chewing as your desired input method.
  4. Run in a terminal:
    # im-switch -s ibus
  5. Logout and re-login.
  6. The ibus input method can be activated and deactivated in all applications with the keys configured (default: Ctrl + Space).