Home Forums Tips, Hacks, & Ideas For Learning Japanese Install instructions IME on Ubuntu/Linux

This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Dante 8 years, 7 months ago.

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    After reading the Social Learning chapter I saw the glaring omission of installation instructions to for an IME in Ubuntu/Linux. So for all the Linux users out there I’ll post it here :) I have tested it in Ubuntu 10.10 and 11.04 but it will probably work in earlier versions as well.


    1. In a console window, type

    sudo apt-get install ibus

    and give your password. Most likely it will say that ibus is already at the newest version, but we’re just making sure.
    2. Go to System -> Administration -> Language Support
    3. Click Install/Remove Languages…
    4. Check Japanese, click ‘Apply changes’, let it install for a bit, and Close both windows
    5. Go to System -> Preferences -> Keyboard Input Methods (in older versions this might be called iBus Preferences)
    6. Switch to the Input Method tab
    7. From the dropdown select Japanese -> Anthy and click Add
    8. Close the window. By this time you should see a keyboard icon in the top Gnome bar. If you don’t, do step 9 and restart your computer.
    9. To ensure that iBus is started every time you start your computer, go to System -> Preferences -> Startup Applications and Add an entry with the following data:

    Name: iBus Daemon
    Command: /usr/bin/ibus-daemon -d
    Comment: To start the Japanese IME

    Click Save and Close.
    10. To switch between IME and normal keyboard, press Ctrl-Space Bar while in an input field. The icon in the top will switch from a keyboard to a crown or a sign saying ‘Aち’. Now you can type Japanese.


    The IME itself works just like the Windows and OS X varieties, including F6/F7 kana switching.

    Happy typing :)



    Nice guide! I also use iBus when I use linux, but I opt to use Mozc instead of Anthy.. If I remember correctly, Anthy had an odd incompatibility with Skype, so I gave up on Japanese on Linux for a while.

    Recently I installed a fresh copy of Linux Mint and discovered Mozc. Mozc is an IME based on Google’s IME, which is my IME of choice on Windows and Mac. (though maybe I may try Mozc on Mac since it’s supported…). Check it out here:

    Take a look at what Koichi had to say about Google IME if you’re not familiar with it:

    I’m unsure how Anthy compares, but I do know that Mozc DOES work with the Linux version of Skype (without flaw too).



    Just a quick update on an apparently old post. In Gnome 3+ versions (don’t know about older ones), you can just add japanese as a keyboard setting. Just the same for typing, space bar changes the to kanji with a browseable menu and F7 changes the typed word to katakana.
    Since this is just the keyboard setting for your desktop interface, it works in all programs you run in the same shell.

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