Japanese input method in Mepis 3.3

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!!! Warning! The info contained in this article pertains to older versions of MEPIS !!!
(Though old, this article is quite useful for MEPIS 7.0. Hand-configuration of steps 3, 4 and 5 should mostly work as described and all are necessary. Selection of packages in step 2 may need some thoughts, but you most likely want to include scim and anthy. In step 3, you may want to replace two lines containing IM_MODULE by export GTK_IM_MODULE=xim; export QT_IM_MODULE=xim)



This is a mini-guide for non-native writers who need to use different languages, specially those languages which need an input method. That applies specially for Japanese, Korean and Chinese.

IMPERATIVE: When installing your system, select an UTF locale.

1- Update the packages

apt-get update

2.- Install the following packages.

apt-get install scim
apt-get install scim-gtk2-immodule
apt-get install anthy
apt-get install uim-anthy
apt-get install scim-uim
apt-get install scim-m17n

NOTE: You can see the packages needed in order to write Korean, Chinese (Different types of it) or other languages: /usr/share/doc/scim/README.Debian

3.- Make run the applications at startup.

The above README file says that we need to pass some variables at X start up. Well, to do that, the same README file suggest to put some commands inside the file ~/.xssession or ~/.xinitrc, but Mepis doesn't come with those files and if we try to make one of them, the graphic session crashes without mercy or explanation. So here is a workaround.

Looking at man xsession section CUSTOMIZING THE STARTUP PROCEDURE, the magic consists in making a customized personal script to pass the needed variables. The name of the file must be as they say in the man xsession, or you risk crashing everything. Accordingly I named my scprit 75custom-write_japanese and inside put the following lines

export XMODIFIERS="@im=SCIM"
export GTK_IM_MODULE="scim"
export XIM_PROGRAM="scim -d"
export QT_IM_MODULE="scim"

The file goes to the directory /etc/X11/Xsession.d

4.- Control your locale

You need to control if scim supports your locale:

In your /etc/scim/global file the support for your locale must appear:

/SupportedUnicodeLocales = en_US.UTF-8,en_GB.UTF-8,es_ES.UTF-8

In my case the locale is en_US.UTF-8 (English) or es_ES.UTF-8 (Spanish). So we are O.K.

The same can be done in the ~/.scim/global file if you want to give each user his own locale.

5.- Make run scim at login.

To be sure that scim always starts enter in KDE, we need to do a file, named as you like (in my case: startscim) with the following lines:

scim -d

The file goes to .kde/Autostart/, don't forget to set the permissions:

chmod 744 startscim

6.- Use and configuration of scim

Enjoy your Japanese input system with English interface. Yukiko Bando, wrote an excellent guide, you can see it here: [1]

7.- Optional: customize your keyboard

As I need to write in Spanish and Italian the so called "dead keys" are indispensable for my daily work. So following the kind guide of Yukiko Bando, I made my own keyboard layout: Japanese 106 keys, with latinamerican layout and some other small fixes. If you are interested in it, I can send you my xmodmap file.

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