Japanese IME on Ubuntu
February 12, 2007 8:26 AM   Subscribe

Japanese IME on Ubuntu? Help!

I'm a long-time Windows user switching over to n00buntu Ubuntu 6.10 in the hopes that it'll run faster and more stable than a couple-years-old XP install on an oldish laptop.

However, one of the nicest features of Windows that I remember was the ridiculously feature-rich Japanese IME for non-Japanese keyboards, and Linux doesn't seem to feature that sort of thing natively. It isn't a dealbreaker, but I definitely liked having it around.

I've recently found out about a piece of software called IM-JA though, but I seriously need a walkthrough of this sort of thing -- I'm a near-complete *NIX newbie who was so thoroughly trained in DOS Back In The Day that the *NIX command line is baffling, like learning a second foreign language years after your first.

Anyway, can anyone help me get IM-JA running with the same level of integration and ubiquity that Windows' IME had? And for bonus points, can anyone offer advice on getting GJiten running from basically a fresh Ubuntu install?
posted by DoctorFedora to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Ubuntu uses SCIM for Japanese (and other odd-language) input. There are a few packages you need to add to get everything running, but once added, you should be good to go. My wife is Japanese, and has no trouble surfing and emailing in Japanese (mostly Firefox and Evolution, or maybe Thunderbird). I think the main word processor, OpenOffice, also handles Japanese.

Use the Synaptic package manager (on the System menu, IIRC) and search for "Japanese." A fair number of packages will come up, and you don't need them all, but I can't tell you which ones you do need at the moment -- my Ubuntu box is at home. I'm sure somebody will chime in, but if not, I'll follow up later.
posted by spacewrench at 8:51 AM on February 12, 2007

I use SCIM for Chinese input, and I believe it works similarly for Japanese, though afraid I can't speak to specific input features. I'm still on 6.06, but installation just involved going to System>Administration>Language Support and ticking the languages I wanted IIRC.
You may want to seek out scim-bridge-agent in Synaptic too if you do use SCIM, as the default packages did segfault certain apps, though it largely integrates seamlessly (and I believe has been improved for 6.10 anyway). I can turn input on and off with a keyboard shortcut in pretty much any app.
posted by Abiezer at 11:34 AM on February 12, 2007

And shouldn't you be running Fedora, Doctor? :D
posted by Abiezer at 11:36 AM on February 12, 2007

I don't know anything about the alternatives people have offered but if you're looking to install IM-JA, I tried it out with my Ubuntu feisty install and it went like this:

It doesn't seem to be in the Ubuntu repositories so you can't install it the really easy GUI/synaptec way, but there is a deb for an older version of Ubuntu that should fine at the IM-JA sourceforge site: http://im-ja.sourceforge.net/packages/ubuntu/breezy/i386/im-ja_1.5-1_i386.deb

I'm sure there's a way to go on from here all in the GUI, but it's going to depend on details like your window manager, you might try navigating to the folder you saved the file and seeing what its right click menu looks like or just double clicking it. I just used a terminal, switched to the download directory, and ran:

$ sudo aptitude install im-ja_1.5-1_i386.deb

It wanted a couple dependencies and they were unofficial so I had to type 'yes' a few times to send it on its way, but it eventually downloaded and installed everything.

As for running the thing, I refer you to the fine manual: http://im-ja.sourceforge.net/im-ja-doc.html
posted by moift at 2:26 PM on February 12, 2007

« Older Tell me about being an air courier   |   What are my choices for Broadband Internet service... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.