Archive for June, 2010

Japanese Input on Ubuntu Linux 10.04 LTS Lucid Lynx

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

The latest release of Ubuntu, 10.04 LTS Lucid Lynx, makes a lot of things easy in Linux. And setting up Ubuntu with a Japanese IME to type in Japanese is as easy as ever. Whether you are a student of Japanese or a native Japanese speaker, you will need to set up Ubuntu to type in Japanese if you are not on a Japanese system.

This simple tutorial will get you set up with a Japanese input method in as few steps as possible.

To start, select from the top panel SystemAdministrationLanguage Support

System - Administration - Language Support

In the Language and Text screen, press the Install / Remove Languages… button.

Language and Text Screen

In the Installed Languages screen, scroll down to Japanese and check Input methods and Extra fonts, and press Apply Changes.

Installed Languages Screen

You will be prompted for your administration password.

Administration Password

The necessary packages will start downloading.

Downloading Packages

The downloaded packages will be installed automatically.

Installing Software

A dialog box confirming the Japanese language packages have been installed will be displayed.

Install Completed

After everything is installed, the next step is the set up the keyboard input method editor.

Select from the top panel SystemAdministrationLanguage Support

In the Language and Text screen, click on the Keyboard method input system dropdown and select ibus.


Next, set up ibus by selecting from the top panel SystemPreferences IBus Preferences

IBus Preferences

You may get the following dialog box saying IBus is not started. Press Yes to start it.

Start IBus

You may also get a dialog box with the following message. Just press OK.

IBus error

On the IBus Preferences screen, go to the Input Method tab.

IBus Preferences

Press the Select an input method dropdown and select JapaneseAnthy.

Japanese - Anthy

Press Add on the IBus Preferences screen to add the Anthy Japanese input method.

Add Anthy

You should now have a little keyboard icon displayed somewhere on the right side of the top panel.

Keyboard Icon

Open a text editor like gedit. While the cursor is in the text field, press the keyboard icon in the top panel and select Japanese – Anthy.

Select Anthy

The Anthy Japanese IME toolbar will appear on your screen.

Anthy toolbar

Use the toolbar to toggle the various Japanese input modes. Now you’re ready to type Japanese in Ubuntu!

gedit with Japanese

That wasn’t very difficult. In fact, after you do it on a few machines you can get it all set up in under a few minutes.

There you go. With these steps, you can begin typing Japanese on your Ubuntu Linux system, regardless of what language the OS menus display in.