Using the IBus Chinese – Pinyin Input Method in the Fedora 22 KDE Plasma Desktop Spin

The Process

This is almost certainly not the best way to do this, but thanks to the absolute dearth of information online, this is what I’ve come up with:

  1. Install the necessary packages to use iBus in KDE
    1. The package list below is based in part on the packages installed when the system’s default language is changed to Chinese (the calligra package, the kde-l10n package, and qt5-qttranslations) and in part on my attempt to install the iBus software
sudo dnf install ibus-setup ibus-pinyin ibus-qt calligra-l10n-zh_CN kde-l10n-zh_CN man-pages-zh-CN qt5-qttranslations

2.  Reboot (or restart KDE in some fashion)

3.  Once logged back into KDE, open the Konsole and execute

ibus-setup

4.  The iBus Preferences window appears, and from here you can choose add the Chinese – Pinyin Input Method and modify the key combination used to switch between IMEs.  You can also simply left-click the iBus panel item that now appears in your system tray.

That was way too difficult for something so simple; it took me forever to figure out which packages to install.

The Story

It seems like there must be a lot of Chinese Fedora users out there, but documentation regarding the installation of Chinese IME support in KDE is almost completely absent from the Internet.  All I wanted to do is add support for switching between Chinese and English Input Method Editors in the Fedora 22 KDE Plasma Desktop Spin.

Using GNOME, the process is apparently incredibly simple.  Those are instructions for Japanese, technically, but selecting Chinese is just as easy.

In KDE, however, there is no such simple menu.  I found the Applications –> Settings –> Language option in the KDE kickoff menu, but this appears only to allow you to set the default system language, and that’s not what I want to do.

I have determined with a good degree of confidence that iBus is the proper software to use for this purpose, so I installed the ibus-setup package and the dependent packages.  After that, I could launch the iBus daemon and set it up using ibus-setup, and though the system tray icon would appear and I could choose Chinese as my IME, no Chinese character output would appear (nor would the window allowing for the selection of alternate characters).

So, I finally tried switching my system’s default language to Chinese and the system prompted me to install a handful of packages*.  I then simply switched back to English, rebooted, and when I started up the iBus daemon with ibus-setup, it was working properly.

*I recorded those packages and present them in the instructions above at the initial installation step.

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