SCIM is a GTK-based input method engine for inputting non-English / non-ASCII characters in a GNOME/GTK environment. There is a KDE frontend called skim.

NOTE: This page is NOT a user's guide for SCIM. For user's guide, please refer to, and InputMethods/SCIM/Setup.

Program crash when SCIM is running

The SCIM package has a gcc C++ ABI incompatibility problem when using with programs that are compiled with a different gcc version. This problem has been confirmed in the official SCIM Wiki at here. More discussions can be found in and Debian bug tracking system.

The problem became obvious when Ubuntu Breezy 5.10 was released. Since Breezy has migrated to gcc 4.x for compiling all packages in the distro, including SCIM of course.

Hence when SCIM is running, the following proprietary programs which are compiled with a different gcc version (most likely gcc 3.2) will crash at start:

This has also plagued OSS packages that are compiled with an incompatible gcc version:

  • Mozilla Firefox binary tarball from

  • Thunderbird
  • 2.x binary packages from the official homepage (RPM convert to DEB by alien).

    • Note: In the case of, it won't crash like other programs mentioned. But SCIM will be disabled when using this official Linux version.


Workaround in general

You can work around this problem temporarily, by exporting the following environment in command line:

export GTK_IM_MODULE=xim

Then start those applications manually.

Workaround for Firefox

For Firefox you can use the instruction above to bypass the problem, but SCIM will be disabled and it wouldn't serve the purpose. You can try to compile your own Firefox build, see CompileFirefoxNewVersion for further detail. Or you can try other third-party gcc4 compiled build such as Swiftfox.

Workaround for 2.x Linux binary from the official site

After installation is complete, first, you need to rename the standard C++ library (libstdc++) bundled to something else:

cd /opt/openoffice.org2.0/program
sudo mv

Then, create a symlink to the C++ library in the current Ubuntu system.

sudo ln -s /usr/lib/

There you go, SCIM will be enabled again when you launch the official version of 2.x.

Other packages that use SCIM

a source-compatible Keyman-like smart context-aware keyboard mapper. Upstream Debian Keyboard catalog

Official page

SCIM (last edited 2008-08-06 16:26:35 by localhost)