openSUSE Gnome Basics: Japanese Kana Kanji and Pinyin input Part 1

If you work with Japanese or Chinese characters or studying Mandarin or Nihongo, you can set up openSUSE for Japanese and Pinyin input.

There are at least a dozen options for either Japanese or Chinese input sets in Linux.  Selecting the input method is a matter of preference and your comfort level with learning a new keyboard set. There is, for example, the Macintosh style of Japanese input available. You can also use Google's Android input method on Linux, which may be familiar to Android smartphone users.

This article uses the Japanese Kana Kanji ibus-kkc package, ibus-gtk3, and ibus-googlepinyin on openSUSE 42.2 Gnome.

Installing input software packages:
  • For Pinyin input, use Yast2 or zypper to install the ibus-googlepinyin package.
  • For Japanese Kanji and Kana input, use YaST2 or zypper to install the ibus-kkc package.

Setting up Gnome and iBus to use the input methods


Once the software packages are installed, set up Gnome desktop and iBus settings if needed.

To set up iBus for input:

1. Launch iBus Preferences.

2. On the Input tab, click Add, and then select your Language and Input method.



3. If you want to change the default Keyboard Shortcut to switch to a different input method, click the General tab and assign a new key combination for the item Next input method. 

The default value is <Super>space.

4. Click Close.



To set up Language settings with input method in Gnome 3:

1. Launch Region & Language.

2. Click the + button to add an Input Source. Depending on the installed input packages, select from the list of input sources, and then click Add



3. Adjust the order of preference by clicking an Input Source and then the Up or Down arrows.



4. If there are options for an Input Source, click the Settings icon.

The Japanese Kana Kanji input source, for example, can be configured to prioritize kana type and punctuation style.



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