Use IBus & change Keyboard Input language in Ubuntu

IBus is an acronym for Intelligent Input Bus. It is an input method for multiple languages in Linux distributions. Furthermore, we need to install an IM engine along with IBus. An IM engine provides the required support for multiple languages. In this article, we would discuss how to install and configure IBus to change our Keyboard input language in Ubuntu distribution.

Install IBus and related packages

The following operations would require superuser privileges, in case you don’t have one then contact your System Administrator for assistance. As we have already discussed, we need to install IBus along with an IM engine. Therefore, run the following in terminal –

sudo apt install ibus-m17n

Observe, we are only installing ibus-m17n package. Apt will automatically select and install other related packages.

Configure IBus

Once installation gets completed, we will have to configure the package Ibus. Hence, open IBus Preferences option available in our Main menu. After clicking the IBus Preferences, it will open a dialog box. It informs us that IBus Daemon is not running. To start it we need to click Yes.

Now, IBus Daemon has successfully started. It presents us another dialog box which specifies the current status for IBus Daemon – Click OK.

In case, we are unable to start IBus Daemon then change the Keyboard input method system to IBus in Language support package. Remember, we need to log out of the system after making the changes. Otherwise, it will not allow us to switch between input methods.

Thereafter, select the Input method tab in IBus Preferences and to Add an Input method, click Add.

Next, select the input method which we would like to use e.g. German.

Clicking the Add button adds the input language to our input method.

Lastly, we could switch between input method through Keyboard shortcut keys or clicking the IBus panel icon. We can change Keyboard shortcut keys through General tab. Here, by default keyboard shortcut key for switching between input methods is <Super>space.

Open any text editor like gedit, featherpad to check if we can successfully switch between input methods.

In conclusion, we have discussed how to install and configure IBus to change keyboard input languages in this article.