Tibetan Input Method for Linux

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Img. 1: IBus needs to be enabled in Language settings
Img. 2: IBus preferences, hotkeys for switching input methods
Img. 3: IBus preferences, input method selection
Img. 4: Fcitx configuration for Tibetan

Linux supports a number of different input method implementations to support different Tibetan keyboards:

  • IBUS, the Intelligent input bus. This provides the currently recommended method for typing Tibetan in Linux/Gnome and Plasma/KDE.
  • FCITX, Fcitx [ˈfaɪtɪks] is an input method framework with extension support. An alternative for Plasma/KDE.
  • UIM, for older linux versions that do not yet support IBus
  • SCIM, not described here.

Installing a Tibetan IBUS input method for gnome or KDE/plasma

  • You should have installed the packages: ibus, ibus-m17n, m17ndb (or m17n-lib, m17n-db). QT(plasma/KDE) users also need ibus-qt.

.

  • Ubuntu users need to make sure (10.04 and higher) that IBus is the active input method: Go to System / Administration / Language support: On the bottom of the screen is the Input Method selector, make sure it is on "IBus". (See Img. 1)
  • Next, configure a hotkey that switches between your normal keyboard and the Tibetan input method. Go to System / Preferences / IBus Preferences and select a hot key (see Img. 2).
  • Then enable a Tibetan input method (available are EWTS, extended Wylie, Wylie and CTRC) (see Img. 3)

The Arch wiki has useful information on how to enable IBUS.

FCITX installation (for Plasma/KDE)

You need the packages fcitx, fcitx-m17n, m17ndb, fcitx-qt4, fcitx-qt5, and kcm-fcitx (for configuration via GUI).

The Fcitx Wiki provides good installation instructions for different Linux distributions.

The Tibetan input methods are found within the m17n module of Fcitx.

Legacy input methods

Installing a Tibetan UIM input method for gnome

For gnome you need the packages uim, uim-m17nlib, uim-applet-gnome. This installs a Wylie input method (as part of uim-m17nlib) and a keyboard switcher that can be added to the gnome panel:

  • Right-click the gnome-panel, select "Add to Panel..." and add the "Input Method Indicator (uim)".
  • Within the configuration of UIM, enable the input method "m17n-bo-wylie" or the newer m17n-bo-ewts, .
  • Now open gnome text editor (gedit), select a Tibetan font, e.g. Tibetan Machine Uni and activate the input method "m17n-bo-wylie".
  • You should now be able to type Tibetan.

Advanced customization

All input methods (scim, uim, and ibus) rely on a configuration file that is installed as part of m17n.lib.

It is possible to exchange or change the way the input method "m17n-bo-wylie" works: Simply edit (as root, make a backup first!)

/usr/share/m17n/bo-wylie.mim

to add or modify the translation from wylie into Unicode Tibetan. This file serves as documentation of the input method and is also a good way to understand how the input method translates Wylie into Tibetan Unicode.

More information

External Links