Customising XO for Japanese language from the command line

Revision as of 23:24, 9 January 2008 by Tamichan (talk | contribs) (Japanese font installation)
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This page summarizes the steps required for setting up Japanese language environment on XO-1.

For setting up Japanese environment on XO-1, you need to have:

  1. XO-1
  2. Network connection. It is for downloading Japanese fonts and software installation via yum.
  3. Japanese-enabled Web browser. This is needed for downloading Japanese IPA (Information-Technology Promotion Agency) fonts.

Among various Japanese input methods available on Linux platforms, we are going to install scim-anthy here for its ease of use.

Japanese font installation

Although there are a couple of Japanese fonts packaged for Linux platforms, we are going to use IPA fonts here for their quality. Unfortunately, IPA fonts are downloaded only from Japanese IPA Web page. So you need to have another computer which can run Japanese-enabled browser.

Open IPA fonts download page in your Japanese-enabled browser and read the legal agreements. If you click the agreement button at the bottom of the page, another page is displayed and you can download zipped font archives there.

Two IPA font archives are available. One ( is based on new JIS X 0213:2004 standard and another ( is based on old JIS X 0208:1997 standard. Since the fonts based on the old standard are smaller in file sizes, you may want to use them unless you need to comply the new Japanese standard. file contains five fonts. You can install them all, but you only need to install one font for Japanese enablement. If you prefer Sans Serif-type fonts, choose ipag0208_for_legacy_compatibility.ttf. If you prefer Serif-type fonts, choose ipam0208_for_legacy_compatibility.ttf.

Copy the selected font file to XO-1's /usr/share/fonts using USB stick or network and press Ctrl-Alt-Erase to restart X-Window.

To confirm the Japanese font installation, start Browse activity and open a Japanese Web site like the current events page for local Japanese volunteers. If you could see Japanese characters, CONGRATULATIONS! Your Japanese font installation was successful.

scim-anthy installation

Connect XO-1 to Internet and open Terminal activity and type

yum install scim-anthy

and follow the instructions. scim-anthy and dependent packages will be installed without problems. After installation is completed, type


to exit super user mode.

scim-anthy configuration

For using scim-anthy input method, you need to modify some language settings.

Type following command on Terminal activity to display the current language setting:

sugar-control-panel -g language

If Japanese is NOT displayed, type

sugar-control-panel -s language Japanese

to set the current language to Japanese.

Next, change directory to the home directory (/home/olpc) and copy .xsession-example to .xsession:

cp .xsession-example .xsession

Open .xsession in a text editor (e.g. vi or nano), add following lines at the bottom of the file:

export GTK_IM_MODULE=scim
export USE_XOPENIM=t
scim -d & 

and save the changes.

Restart X-Window with Ctrl-Alt-Delete and start Browser activity. Then press Alt-~ (tilda - left to numeric one key). If you see Anthy's status window at the right-bottom corner, scim-anthy is working correctly.

For more detailed information on the usage of scim-anthy, please refer to SCIM-anthy: getting started.