IBus setup on Kubuntu

There's quite a few steps to follow if you want to setup Kubuntu to work with different input methods such as Korean (Hangul). These are the steps I had to do on Kubuntu 16.04 to get it working. Hopefully this is useful to anyone else who was stuck with this :)

1. Install packages

IBus seems to be the way to go if you want to type on a non-english keyboard. First you need to install an appropriate engine. To see what's available:

$ apt-cache search ibus |grep engine
ibus-anthy - anthy engine for IBus
ibus-anthy-dev - anthy engine for IBus, development files
ibus-chewing - Chewing engine for IBus
ibus-hangul - Hangul engine for IBus
ibus-m17n - m17n engine for IBus
ibus-sunpinyin - sunpinyin engine for ibus
ibus-table - table engine for IBus
ibus-table-extraphrase - Extra phrase for table engine of ibus
ibus-array - Array 30 input engine for iBus
ibus-kkc - Japanese Kana Kanji input engine for IBus
ibus-kkc-dbg - Japanese Kana Kanji input engine for IBus - debugging symbols
ibus-libthai - Thai input method engine for IBus based on LibThai
ibus-mozc - Mozc engine for IBus - Client of the Mozc input method
ibus-skk - SKK engine for IBus
ibus-table-array30 - Array30 input method based on table engine of ibus
ibus-tegaki - tegaki engine for IBus
ibus-braille - Braille input engine for IBus
ibus-libpinyin - Intelligent Pinyin engine based on libpinyin for IBus
ibus-libzhuyin - New Zhuyin engine based on libzhuyin for IBus
ibus-pinyin - Pinyin engine for IBus

To try out Korean support, we want the ibus-hangul method:

$ sudo apt-get install -y ibus-hangul

2. Configure KDE to start ibus-daemon

We need to tell KDE to start the ibus-daemon on login

2.1 Load KDE settings


2.2 Startup and shutdown

startup and shutdown

2.3 Add ibus-daemon

Click Add Program..., then type ibus-daemon and click OK until the system accepts the change.

autostart ibus-daemon

When you've finished, the screen should look like this:


3. Configure input methods

Now we need to tell the system to use ibus. I had a few extra options in my list because I was playing earlier ;-)

3.1 Run im-config


3.2 Click OK

im-config ok

3.3 Click Yes


3.4 Select ibus

Choose ibus from the list and then click OK

ibus mode

3.5 Summary

Check the summary information and click OK


3.6 Reboot

Now the important part. Reboot your computer!


4. Using the new input method

4.1 Switching input methods

If it all worked, you should now have a new indicator in the panel at the bottom right of the screen. Here we are still in ENglish mode:

switcher icon

To switch languages, we can click the icon or use Windows Key + Space at the same time to switch:

switch languages hotkey

The icon will change:

switcher icon

4.2 Try out Hangul mode

If we type something now, we can see we are still getting English input, we need to activate Hangul (Korean) mode by pressing Shift + Space at the same time:

hangul mode

Now we can easily switch between typing in Korean and English. I used the kate editor to practice but you can just try this in firefox and it should work too. You can also use the icon in the bottom right panel to switch:


I have no idea what I typed but its working!


If you followed the steps and it didn't work, here are some things to try: