SCIM will be replaced by iBus in Karmic.

Release Note

Because SCIM is unmaintained upstream and has too many bugs which we can not fix, Ubuntu has switched to IBus as preferred input method framework. IBus is actively developed by Redhat employees and has fixed a number of design issues SCIM has.


  • SCIM upstream is pretty dead
  • SCIM has a lot of design issues which can only be fixed through a complete rewrite from scratch
  • iBus is used by Fedora since Fedora 10 as a replacement for SCIM and is actively developed


  • As of iBus version, in comparison to SCIM, most modules have been ported already, including:
    • pinyin (Chinese)
    • chewing (Traditional Chinese)
    • anthy (Japanese)
    • hangul (Korean)
    • m17n-bridge (all languages supported by libm17n)
    • tables (various languages, including those from India)
  • Some modules have not been ported yet, including various alternative input methods for Japanese and Chinese. Need to ask the upstream authors to port them to iBus.
  • qtimmodule support for QT4 is currently broken (doesn't work in SCIM either), so the XIM fallback is used. This has some issues with several KDE4 applications. It would be nice if we could get the Kubuntu community interested to fix qtimmodule support in upstream iBus during Karmic development cycle.


  • Draft MainInclusionReport for iBus packages

  • Change language-support-input-* metapackages to include ibus-IMEs instead of SCIM-IMEs
  • Change language-selector to set 'im-switch -s ibus'


  • need to call 'im-switch -s ibus' once for each user on the system
    • do a migration check:
      • if iBus is the only IME on the system and the user has activated IME support, just do the migration by selecting ibus in im-switch's Xsession.d/ script.

      • if the user has multiple IMEs installed, ask him if he wants to keep his old settings, or if he wants to migrate to ibus, using an interactive upgrade hook

  • the user will be able to choose a different IME through language-selector.

Test/Demo Plan

To enable IBus, run System->Administration->Language Support and select "ibus" as your keyboard input method system. Log out to activate the changes. After log in right click on the keyboard icon in the notification area and choose "Preferences". Activate the "Input Method" tab. Select an input method from the combobox and click "Add". Repeat with as many input methods as you want to use. Close the window when finished. Open a terminal or text typing application and click into the area wher you want to type text. Hit CRTL+Space to activate IBus. The IBus panel will appear. Type some keys. Depending on the active input method, characters will appear in either a selection window or directly in the text input field of the application. When there are characters in the selection window, press a numerical key, Space or Enter to submit the character(s) to the application. Hit CRTL+Space to toggle IBus off again.


desktop-karmic-input-methods (last edited 2009-10-27 08:18:44 by www)