I hereby describe methods to set up a Japanese environment in Debian.
In order to set up and use not only Japanese environment but also multilingual environment smoothly, please select the locale with UTF-8 encoding.
Required packages for Japanese environment
Following lists required packages for Japanese environment.
- Input method for Japanese
- ibus and its family of packages: auto-installed packages for ibus-mozc is good choice
- relogin to X
once everything is installed, set up ibus to use mozc as the input method via the GUI ibus-setup by adding Japanese from the Input Method menu with mozc as its method.
- Japanese fonts
- Japanese messages
- kde-i18n-ja (required only when KDE is deployed)
- Japanese documentations
- Japanese related tools
Read /usr/share/doc/ibus/README.Debian.gz in detail for input method.
Read Fonts/FontsProprietaryJapaneseFonts for more font hints
What is locale
The locale is used for LANG environment variable to define language environment. It has a structure of xx_YY.ZZZZ and has following meanings:
The language region of Japan is ja_JP but if it is used alone it is treated as tradional ja_JP.eucJP . The language region of US (the best supported) is en_US but if it is used alone it is treated as tradional en_US.ISO8859-1.
For example, the encoding system often used for Japanese are:
US standard, 7 bit code Simply set LANG=C
These encodings are well thought out to keep them compatible within ASCII code ranges.
If you accidentally haven't created the ja_JP.UTF-8 locale, please execute the following to enable Japanese UTF-8 environment.
$ sudo dpkg-reconfigure locales
Set up of language related environment variables
Each program behaves differently depending on the set up of language related environment variables.
Here, you have to pay attention to the fact that some program uses PAM (pluggable Authentification Module) and the environment variable set by PAM has priority.
Both /etc/environment and /etc/defaults/locale files define
when Japanese is selected during the etch installation process under etch (as of December 2006).
Working with key programs
- emacs is quite smart and copes well with many encoding systems. So please pay extra attention to it.
- emacs has its own unique Japanese input infrastructure (egg etc.) which does not rely on external programs such as X nor FEP.
If you wish to input without going through XIM, set XMODIFIERS value to "none" while starting emacs. From shell, execute as:
$ XMODIFIERS=none emacs
In order to adjust Debian menu, place customized configuration in /etc/menu following the method described in /usr/share/doc/menu/html.
vim is also quite smart and copes well with many encoding syatems. So please pay extra attention to it and basically try to use vim under UTF-8. No special input method configuration needed. Please refer to "Method to edit non-UTF-8 encoded text files under UTF-8 vim" (English) (Japanese)
Recently IBus has become the most widely used input framework - it's probably the best choice for Japanese input in Debian
There are two Japanese IBus engines: ibus-anthy and ibus-mozc. ibus-mozc is an input method that originates from Google Japanese Input, while ibus-anthy is a more established method. It would be advisable to test both and pick the one that is the most appropriate for your needs.
Run the following to install mozc:
$ apt install ibus-mozc
and this to install anthy:
$ apt install ibus-anthy