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See portal site [[Keyboard]] for general keyboard input topics.


Internationalization and Localization

Debian wiki's internationalization (i18n) and localization (l10n) portal.

Debian has many services, softwares, interfaces and infrastructures to handle the complexity of its operations. Most of these mechanisms were built using English as the primary (and many times, the only) language. In order to cope with its "universal operating system" motto, many efforts are made to internationalize, localize and translate all possible interfaces:

  • I18N (internationalization) means modification of a software or related technologies so that a software can potentially handle multiple languages, customs, and so on in the world.

  • L10N (localization) means implementation of a specific language for an already internationalized software.

  • Introduction to i18n, Tomohiro KUBOTA

Localization fronts

This is an incomplete list of what is being localized in Debian. It should be useful to anyone interested in finding more information about specific areas of work:

Keyboard input infrastructure support

See portal site Keyboard for general keyboard input topics.

The i18n keyboard input keyboard infrastructure is supported by:

  • the input method (IM) framework -- for Wayland and X Window (The choice of the active IM can be configured by the im-config package)

    • ibus -- the Default IM framework for GNOME Desktop: ibus

    • Fcitx5 -- the alternative IM framework with special support functionalities for Chinese: fcitx5

    • uim -- the alternative IM framework written in Lisp: uim (if you are a Emacs aficionado)

    • SCIM -- the alternative IM framework: scim (not in good shape)

  • xkbcomp -- only for X Window (Set it via ~/.xsession script): x11-xkb-utils

You can install multiple IM frameworks but can activate only one of them. The choice of the active IM framework is provided by im-config which also provides reasonable default choice using your locale setting.

For fully functioning keyboard input infrastructure, you need to install pertinent IM engines and activate them using the mechanism provided by the IM framework.

Activation of IM framework overrides xkbcomp settings.


These are meetings which cover the Debian project as a whole. For specific languages or teams, see the Localization teams below.

  • DebConf: we usually run some BOFs and other discussions related to i18n/l10n.


  • Sprint2012: i18n sprint in Paris to prepare i18n.debian.org and ddtp.debian.org machines.

Extremadura Meetings: 2008, 2007, 2006.

Localization teams

Debian I18n Team and contacts

Debian L10n teams

Mailing lists

  • Mailing lists about localization, translation, and support for users that don't speak English.

Language Support Improvements

Past works

These sections were put together for historical purposes.





See also

Wiki pages

List of English pages related to i18n/l10n in Debian: