Please a guide to be able writing chinese in other language environment

Dear all,

as a newbie in Qubes I would like to be able writing chinese even if I am with another environmental language on Qubes.

I installed successfully ibus-libpinyin.x86_64.
When I run ibus-setup it displays the IM keyboard on top panel but disappeared when I click on the popup winddows telling me it did not found the three IM lines in the file ~HOME/.bashrc
When I verify this file those three lines are present.
export GTK_IM_MODULE=ibus
export XMODIFIERS=@im=ibus
export QT_IM_MODULE=ibus

  1. is it possible to write in chinese on all VM if I install it on their template (fedora-34) ?
  2. or must I install it on each concerned VM (application) where I want to be able to write chinese ?

Can somebody give us a guide to easily writing chinese in all desired VM ?

Sincerely thank you and have a nice day.

ibus-setup used to work under fedora before 32. It seems that at some time ibus-setup misfunctions and takes down the ibus daemon at exit. This is a bug remaining to be fixed. I am not sure whether it is reported yet.

Try “ibus-daemon -d”.


I have had issues with IBUS on qubes. However, UIM has worked for me.

For chinese input using UIM, in a Debian 11 TemplateVM, run these commands:

# Install chinese fonts.
sudo apt install -y \
	fonts-arphic-uming \

# Install uim and chinese support.
sudo apt install -y \
	uim \

# Add uim config to .xinitrc in /etc/skel/. Configurations will be copied to
# new AppVMs based on this template.
echo '
export GTK_IM_MODULE=uim
export QT_IM_MODULE=uim
uim-xim &
export XMODIFIERS=@im=uim
' | sudo tee /etc/skel/.xinitrc > /dev/null

# Modify uim preferences to your preferred preferences. In `Global settings` check `Specify default IM`
# and switch the `Default input method` to `Chewing`. UIM preferences will be saved in ~/.uim.d/

# Copy preferences to /etc/skel/.
sudo cp -r ~/.uim.d/ /etc/skel/

When you create a new AppVM based off this TemplateVM, the UIM configurations in /etc/skel/ will be copied to $HOME in the AppVMs. Each AppVM will run its own UIM.

Also, ordinarily you shouldn’t run uim-pref-gtk in a TemplateVM to generate preferences, as it’s not good practice to run applications in TemplateVMs. Instead, run uim-pref-gtk in an AppVM and copy the preferences from there to the TemplateVM.

More info on input methods can be found here.

I recommend fcitx5 as an alternative to ibus.

If you want to write Chinese in different AppVMs, you have to install your desired input method in those TemplateVMs. And configurations are likely needed to be done in each AppVM, respectively.