Language Localization

Enable UTF-8 in dom0 title bars

You can enable UTF-8 characters in the title bar for all (non-Windows) qubes or on a per-qube basis. For an individual qube, this can be done using the Qube Manager’s Advanced tab or, in a dom0 terminal, via the command

qvm-features <VMname> gui-allow-utf8-titles true

To change this given GUI option globally, set this feature in the Qube Manager’s Global Settings plane, which will apply to all qubes using the GuiVM under which Qube Manager is running (usually dom0, or possibly in one of the alternative GuiVMs sys-gui or sys-gui-gpu). To set this property globally for all qubes running under a certain GuiVM, e.g. dom0, use the command

qvm-features dom0 gui-default-allow-utf8-titles true

or accordingly.

Note: This does not work for Windows qubes.

Changing the language of dom0

In order to install an additional language in dom0, e.g. German: In a dom0 terminal, execute

sudo qubes-dom0-update langpacks-de

Then reboot.

Before logging in, the task panel will show - usually far to the right - the current language, e.g. C.UTF-8. Clicking on this value will open a menu where you can select the GUI language, i.e. the interface language of Qubes used in dom0 and in the menus, like Whiskers. Note, however, that the language of some Qubes utilities like the Qube Manager does not change, and any Templates and AppVMs based on these Templates retain their language.

This need only be done once; the selected language survives logging out and reboot.

Changing the language of Templates and the AppVMs based on them

To change the language of existing Templates, you have to install the language packs in these Templates.

For Fedora-based Templates, this is done (for German as an example) via

sudo dnf install langpacks-de

For debian-based Templates, the corresponding command is

sudo apt-get install language-pack-de language-pack-gnome-de language-pack-de-base language-pack-gnome-de-base

For other languages, the corresponding code has to be used, e.g. fr for French. After installing a language, it has to be selected/enabled via the settings of the Template.

New Templates will be installed in their default language, usually English, and they have to be changed just like existing Templates. This could be alleviated by installing a “clean” Template from the repository, with nothing but the needed language packs before starting to create a new template–clone using one of these languages. For instance, when you need a totally new Template (e.g., Debian 12 when it comes out), you’ll have to create debian-12-de and regenerate all other Templates from that.

The language of Windows Templates is determined at the installation of the operating system and can be changed afterwards if the installed edition is a multi-language edition; otherwise the language stays fixed.

AppVMs started after this change will inherit the language from the corresponsing Template.

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.

This document was migrated from the qubes-community project
  • Page archive
  • First commit: 08 Dec 2020. Last commit: 03 Sep 2022.
  • Applicable Qubes OS releases based on commit dates and supported releases: 4.0, 4.1
  • Original author(s) (GitHub usernames): GWeck
  • Original author(s) (forum usernames): @GWeck
  • Document license: CC BY 4.0