Ubuntu 12 and 13 Chinese Setup
A Quick Start Guide to
Chinese Setup, Input Methods, Fonts, and Other Features in
Ubuntu 13.10 (Saucy Salamander), 13.04 (Raring Ringtail)
Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin) & 12.10 (Quantal Quetzal)
Installing Chinese fonts and input methods in Ubuntu 12 or 13 is very similar to my instructions for recent versions, but you'll notice some differences in these screen shots.
If you cannot run the Unity interface, use my instructions for Ubuntu 10 Chinese setup, log into the Gnome interface, and try to install proprietary drivers for your graphics card.
Ubuntu should automatically present this option to you shortly after your first login, if it finds a card that can use such drivers. Then you may be able to restart and boot into Unity.
Warning: Ubuntu 13.10 input methods are a mess! At minimum, your floating language panel will be missing, which for example will prevent changing the Chewing input method from Zhuyin to Pinyin. And you will probably find other problems.
As of October 24, 2013, the input method preferences issue was given offical bug status. On this bug report page, there is a workaround in post #17:
For many of you, Ibus will be even more broken than that. You'll need to try reinstalling IBus from the command line, but several problems will remain. Many thanks to Jan Heiland for pointing me to this backgrounder:
One suggestion there is to replace Ibus with fctix. In my opinion, the fact that the Ubuntu Kylin project has already gone with fctix is a very strong recommendation. But fctix is based on mainland GB encoding, so users of Chewing or others who require Big5 encoding compatibility to exchange messages or documents should not use fctix.
Stay with 12.04 LTS if at all possible unless you really need new features like touch screen support, and are willing and able to spend time on the issues detailed in the above links. If this is resolved and I don't update this page fast enough, or if you have additional suggestions, please let me know.
At the installation Welcome screen you will be asked to pick a display language, as shown on the right here. --->
It is not necessary to use a Chinese language desktop if you don't want to, because Chinese input methods are available in any locale. You can select "English" or another language now, and use Chinese menus later if you wish.
After installation, add language support:
After the installation is complete and you have logged in, you will find more than one way to get into the Language Support control panel. One is to click the menu at the upper right of the screen, and select System Settings:
That will bring up the System Settings panel, where you'll find Language Support:
Another way to find Language Support is to click the Dash icon at the upper left (or press the Ubuntu (Windows) key on your keyboard), and type "Language" into the search box:
Double-click the Language Support icon to open that panel.
For "Keyboard input method system", select "ibus" from the menu. (For info on adding the old SCIM framework to this menu, see the input methods page.) Then click the "Install / Remove Languages..." button:
After clicking that button you will see the Installed Languages panel. Scroll to and click the languages you want to install:
After the file installation process is complete, log out and log back in:
Then you will see a friendly keyboard icon on the top panel of Ubuntu versions 12.04, 12.10, and 13.04:
In 13.10, the menu icon now indicates your current input method, and in most cases will be there even before you do any additional language installation:
If it's not there or isn't working don't worry...yet. IBus does that sometimes. Later you can set the floating language panel to always display, and you will be able to switch input methods using <Alt-Shift> if nothing else.
Note: if the keyboard/En icon never appears for you (even after logout/login as mentioned above) open Terminal and enter this:
im-switch -s ibus
Then logout and login again. You should see the keyboard icon now.
As always, feel free to contact me with any questions, comments and suggestions.