If your Linux system has a custom environment with window manager like i3wm, bspwm, dwm there is no problem. The method below doesn’t require toolbars, widgets, applets and other things.
First we need to install fcitx:
sudo apt install fcitx
Then, we need to decide which language we want to use (Chinese or Japanese).
Packages for Japanese
If we want to use Japanese, it is needed to install fcitx-mozc package. It’s Japanese Input Method based on Japanese syllabary (Hiragana, Katakana). So with that we can type Kanji, like 人、魔。
Install fcitx-mozc package:
sudo apt install fcitx-mozc
And some Japanese fonts (may be any that you want):
sudo apt install fonts-takao-mincho
Packages for Chinese
If we want to use Chinese, it is needed to install fcitx-googlepinyin package. It’s Chinese Input Method based on Chinese syllabary (pinyin). So with that we can type Chinese character’s, like 吗，时。
Install fcitx-googlepinyin package:
sudo apt install fcitx-googlepinyin
And some Chinese fonts (may be any that you want):
sudo apt install xfonts-intl-chinese
Install both Japanese and Chinese packages
Of course, we can install both Chinese and Japanese input methods with fonts:
sudo apt install fcitx-mozc sudo apt install fonts-takao-mincho sudo apt install fcitx-googlepinyin sudo apt install xfonts-intl-chinese
It is needed to paste these lines in our ~/.xinitrc file:
export XMODIFIERS=@im=fcitx export GTK_IM_MODULE=fcitx export QT_IM_MODULE=fcitx export XIM=fcitx fcitx
Thereby GTK and Qt libraries will understand which input methods to use. Last line “fcitx” is needed so that every time we turn computer on, fcitx will start automatically.
Now, let’s configure it. Run im-config:
When asked we want to update, press Yes.
Then, pick fcitx.
Now, let’s start our fcitx. If we don’t do that, our configtool will not work.
When fcitx started, type fcitx-configtool:
Do something like this:
Perhaps now it is better to reboot your system for all settings to take effect. Don’t forget to save this page in your bookmarks.
Everything should work now. Now we can go into a text editor.
Click on the input field, so to see the cursor blinking.
Then press Ctrl + Space. It’s default shortcut (may differ in new fcitx versions, so check fcitx-configtool settings and set your own shortcuts).
We should see that:
Then try to start typing letters.
We can choose character by selecting its digit.
If we have installed both Chinese and Japanese, we can swith between them by pressing Ctrl+Shift (default, otherwise use fcitx-configtools to set own shortcuts).
If we we want return back to English, press Ctrl + Space by default.
How to write Katakana
In mozc (Japanese Input method), we can swith to katakana from hiragana by pressing F7, after we finish typing in hiragana.
Let’s show by example.
We type みるく then press F7 and Enter. We get ミルク。
How to type ü in Chinese input
In google-pinyin with fcitx it’s on the v key. So, just type nv and you get 女。
My Japanese/Chinese input don’t work in Qt/Gtk applications.
I had such a problem, because I had installed packages minimally with –no-install-recommends option in apt. Just check the list of all additional packages to be installed again. And make sure that the dependencies to the Gtk/Qt applications are installed. In my case, there were packages called:
fcitx-frontend-gtk3 fcitx-frontend-gtk2 fcitx-frontend-qt4 fcitx-frontend-qt5
Then i had installed them. After that, I managed to write in Firefox browser in Chinese and Japanese.