Configuring Japanese Input in Gnome (Debian/Ubuntu)

I tested this on Gnome2 with Debian 7.0, but it should transfer over to other distros.

Step 0. (Optional) Setup Japanese Keyboard

From the Regional and Language Setup, click on the “+” and find your keyboard. In my case, it is a standard/boring Japanese 106 key keyboard.

Screenshot from 2014-10-12 23:25:27

Step 1. Install “ibus-anthy”

Open up a “terminal” and install “ibus-anthy”

$ sudo apt-get install ibus-anthy

Step 2. ibus setup

Again from the terminal, run “ibus-setup”.

$ ibus-setup

Within ibus-setup, you will want to go to the second tab “Input Method”. From the drop down, select “Anthy” and add. The result should look like the screenshot:

Screenshot from 2014-10-12 23:22:31

Step 3. Test

Open up a terminal, gedit, etc. and make sure it works.

Screenshot from 2014-10-12 23:33:08

Possible issues:

Issue 1. Cannot change between change and English

This will depend on the keyboard you have set and the keyboard shortcuts. To double-check this, open up the ibus setup.

$ ibus-setup

Under the first tab “general”, you should see “keyboard shortcuts”, “enable or disable”. In my case, I can flip between Japanese and English with either “Control+Space” or “Zenkaku_Hankaku”.

Issue 2. Ibus is not starting on boot

Ibus should start automatically, but I have seen cases where ibus remains off. Two ways you can handle this (there are many more).

Solution 1.  im-config

You can set the system to use ibus though the im-config. Just get im-config running and select ibus:

$ im-config

Screenshot from 2014-10-12 23:40:00

Solution 2. Startup Application

You can also create a startup item to get the ibus-daemon running.

Screenshot from 2014-10-12 23:43:46


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