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.
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)
    terminal: evilvte

    maybe you can try ibus

  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.


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