I would like to type a non-Latin script (Tamil) in Ubuntu 10.10.

I have installed iBUS, added all the Tamil packages in synaptic, and installed Tamil in Languages support and I still can't get it to work.

Any suggestions?

iBus preferences dialog

Language and Text settings dialog showing iBus selected as input method

Synaptic showing Tamil packages


Please type the following in terminal:

sudo apt-get install ibus-m17n
  • 1
    I just found the answer myself and i just now saw your comment ,but thanks I came to the same conclusion , and it works . – Gautam Jun 11 '11 at 16:05

Use a Tamil keyboard:

  1. Go to the Keyboard app. If you have Unity or something that allows you to search for your apps, then get to it that way. Otherwise it's probably in System » Preferences » Keyboard.
  2. Go to the Layouts tab. Click add, and find Tamil (it's easier by language than by country).
  3. Choose a keyboard layout you are comfortable with. The program will display the layout so you can confirm the one that suits you best.
  4. As soon as you have registered a second keyboard layout, a little icon will appear on the top panel (I think; this may be a setting, but seems to be the default behaviour on 11.04) displaying a small keyboard icon and the current keyboard layout. It's probably still the English language one, since you haven't yet chosen to write in Tamil. So, to start writing in Tamil, click on that icon and choose the Tamil layout. You can now start typing in Tamil.
  5. If you're still in the Keyboard app (and still in the Layout tab), you should notice an Options button. Click that and browse through some of the behaviour you can adjust to your preferences. For example, you can select the shortcut to change keyboard layouts. It's faster than selecting from that keyboard icon on the top panel.

Note: I don't think you had to install all those apps to get a new language to work. Canonical's philosophy is that Ubuntu should work right out of the box in almost every language in the world. That is why they went to great depths to create the Ubuntu font family, which contains glyphs for most scripts used in the world today.

  • 1
    What you are suggesting is a nice idea but it is very difficult to type tamil on a Keyboards unless you have a physical Tamil keyboard , But if don't have a physical tamil keyboard it is very impractical to type using the latin keys present in a normal keyboard , the above suggestion of ibus is transliteration and is much better . – Gautam Jun 11 '11 at 16:00

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.