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How to set up pinyin input in Qubes

The pinyin input method will be installed in a TemplateVM to make it available after restarts and across multiple AppVMs.

  1. In a TemplateVM, install ibus-pinyin via the package manager or terminal. If the template is Fedora-based, run sudo dnf install ibus-pinyin. If the template is Debian-based, run sudo apt install ibus-pinyin

  2. Shut down the TemplateVM.

  3. Start or restart an AppVM based on the template in which you installed ibus-pinyin and open a terminal.

  4. Run ibus-setup.

  5. You will likely get an error message telling you to paste the following into your bashrc:

     export GTK_IM_MODULE=ibus
     export XMODIFIERS=@im=ibus
     export QT_IM_MODULE=ibus

    Copy the text into your ~/.bashrc file with your favorite text editor. You will need to do this for any AppVM in which you wish to use pinyin input.

  6. Set up ibus input as you like using the graphical menu (add pinyin or intelligent pinyin to selections). You can bring the menu back by issuing ibus-setup from a terminal.

  7. Set up your shortcut for switching between inputs. By default it is super-space.

If ibus-pinyin is not enabled when you restart one of these AppVMs, open a terminal and run ibus-setup to activate ibus again.

For further discussion, see this qubes-users thread.