How to input Japanese in Opera on Linux

UPDATE: As of 2010, Ubuntu and Fedora both use iBus and I must say this is a great addition to the IME landscape. As Jacob7908 suggested in the comments, this is my new recommendation.
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Like many Linux users I’ve never really had much luck with SCIM and Opera but I’m pleased to say I’ve finally found a solution: use UIM.

I’ve seen suggestions to install scim-bridge-qt (most promising), uninstall scim-bridge and start a second instance of SCIM just for Opera. None of these worked for me but I found a suggestion to use UIM instead which did the trick. Here’s what you do:

1. Install Anthy and UIM

2. Add this to the top of your .xinitrc file or equivalent (e.g. .xsession) in your home directory.

export GTK_IM_MODULE="uim"
export QT_IM_MODULE="uim"
uim-xim &
export XMODIFIERS=@im="uim"
uim-toolbar-gtk &

The optional last line launches a toolbar which you right-click to edit preferences, for example your key-bindings.

3. Logout and login again, launch Opera and enjoy.

If you have a Japanese keyboard you may need to add this line to the top of the .xinitrc file to make UIM detect the Hankaku-Zenkaku key on the left.

This works at least on Arch Linux. Please leave feedback if it doesn’t work for your distro or if you have other suggestions.

2 thoughts on “How to input Japanese in Opera on Linux

  1. jacob7908

    i use scim in my laptop debian, and it works well.
    actually i have not been in using GNOME or KDE
    i use lightweight window manager.
    maybe that is the reason why scim works well in my pc.
    here is the main software installed in my pc.
    os: debian(lenny)
    wm:openbox
    panel:lxpanel
    fileroller:thunar
    editor:emacs-snapshot
    terminal: evilvte

    maybe you can try ibus
    http://code.google.com/p/ibus/

    Reply
  2. Daniemon Post author

    Thank you – I had not seen ibus before. It looks very promising.

    Actually I re-installed Ubuntu (9.04) and Opera 10 and Japanese input now seems to work well with the built-in SCIM. It looks like the problems have been solved so I don’t need to install UIM any more. However it is nice to have the choice of IMEs, just in case.

    Reply

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