IM-CONFIG(8)                                          System Manager's Manual                                          IM-CONFIG(8)

       im-config - set up input method framework configuration

       im-config [OPTION]

       -a      List  all;  force to list all possible input method frameworks in menu or STDOUT even if any associated packages are
               not installed on the system.

       -c      Use console dialogue.

       -x      Use X dialogue with zenity.

       -s      No action; perform a simulation of events that would occur but do not actually change configuration files.

       -l      List all available input method frameworks to STDOUT.  Unless -a is used, list only ones  with  associated  packages

       -m      List configuration values to STDOUT:
               •   active configuration (system)
               •   active configuration (user)
               •   automatic configuration for the current locale
               •   override configuration for the current locale
               •   automatic configuration for most locales
               If the active configuration is custom, the user made a custom configuration and im-config should not change it.

       -n      <input method name>

               Set  input  method  framework  to  <input method name>. This option is for other configuration tool to set the input
               method.  Since the default value of <input method name> is "auto" or "cjkv", you usually do not  need  to  use  this
               from other configuration script.

               Specifying  invalid <input method name> causes the error exit. Updating the configuration file which was not updated
               by im-config also causes the error exit.

               When this <input method name> is "none" then do not activate any IM from im-config and use desktop default.

               When this <input method name> is "REMOVE" then it always removes the configuration file even if it was  not  updated
               by im-config.

       -o      <input method name>

               Print the localized description of the input method <input method name> to STDOUT.

       The -l, -m, -n, and -o options are meant to be API for other programs to control the im-config.

       This manual page very briefly documents im-config and the configuration of the input method.

       im-config  provides  the framework to configure the input method framework on GUI system (Wayland or original X Window) with
       its GUI or console terminal dialogue.  If this is invoked without option, this lists available input methods as  its  choice
       while  marking  automatic choice with trailing @-mark. The listing is ordered by the priority of the input method framework.
       The input method framework with the highest priority comes first.  The availability  of  the  input  method  frameworks  are
       judged  by  the installation of the input method framework packages. After you make a choice for the input method framework,
       this displays a guidance for associated input method engine packages which enables to input non-latin characters specific to
       the need of some languages to be installed.

       The  activation  of  input method engines are out of scope for im-config.  You need to activate them using the mechanism of‐
       fered by the deployed input method framework.  For GNOME Desktop which normally uses ibus as its input method framework, ac‐
       tivate  input  method  engines by "Setting" -> "Keyboard" -> "Input Sources" and click "+"-sign.  For other Desktop environ‐
       ments, you should see something like a small tray icon for the input method framework which can be used  to  activate  input
       method engines.

       If  only  a set of required input method packages along with the im-config package is installed, you do not need to use this
       command.  Such a installation works well in its default and there is no need to use this command.  When  you  wish  to  have
       multiple input method frameworks installed and wish to switch among them, you need to use this command.

       If you have no idea for what package to install, im-config invoked with both -a and -s is a good start.

       This  input  method is the essential mechanism for Japanese, Chinese and Korean (CJK) languages to enter their non-ASCII na‐
       tive characters.  This is also useful to support specialized keyboard bindings for other non-European languages such as  In‐
       dic and other Asian languages.

       Input  method  frameworks  such  as IBus, fcitx5, and uim support not only one of these CJK languages but support almost all
       languages simultaneously by dynamically switching keyboard modes with GUI on the fly.

       The im-config package installs a hook script /etc/X11/Xsession.d/70im-config_launch. At session start it sources  this  file
       as a POSIX shell code.  Then this hook script tries to source the user configuration file ~/.xinputrc, if it exists.  Other‐
       wise, this hook script sources the system configuration file /etc/X11/xinit/xinputrc.

       The  im-config  package  also  installs  another  hook  script  /etc/profile.d/  and  a   desktop   file
       /usr/share/applications/im-config.desktop.  When  a  desktop system starts under wayland, it uses these files instead.  Then
       this hook script and the desktop file tries to source the user configuration file ~/.xinputrc,  if  it  exists.   Otherwise,
       this hook script sources the system configuration file /etc/X11/xinit/xinputrc.

       im-config  invoked from a user account updates the user configuration file ~/.xinputrc.  im-config invoked from the root ac‐
       count updates the system configuration file ~/etc/X11/xinit/xinputrc.  The essential contents of generated files are:

       run_im <input method name>

       When these files are sourced, the run_im shell function instructs to source the initialization code  for  the  corresponding
       input method. This initialization code is defined in the <2 digits number>_<input method name>.rc file in /usr/share/im-con‐

       The im-config hook script, /etc/X11/Xsession.d/70im-config_launch, exports following  variables  to  programs:  $XMODIFIERS,

       The  im-config hook script, /etc/X11/Xsession.d/70im-config_launch, also set $STARTUP to use /usr/bin/im-launch for starting
       required daemons.

       If you wish to create a custom configuration beyond what im-config can do for you, please copy one of  these  initialization
       code  files  into  ~/.xinputrc or /etc/X11/xinit/xinputrc and edit it to suite your need.  For example, 02_cjkv.rc tells how
       input method can be customized for each locale.  This script should be written to set  environment  variables  if  "$IM_CON‐
       FIG_PHASE" = 1 and to start daemon programs if "$IM_CONFIG_PHASE" = 2 .

       Please note that this <2 digits number> part of these configuration files may change for every new releases of the im-config

       When a user makes manual changes to ~/.xinputrc or /etc/X11/xinit/xinputrc without using im-config, im-config will detect it
       using  a md5sum hush value embedded in the shell comment and will not overwrite such files.  You must erase them manually if
       you wish to replace them with ones created by im-config.

       The <2 digits number>_<input method name>.conf files in /usr/share/im-config/data provide the UI data for im-config and  the
       heuristic  logic of selecting desirable input method under the auto mode.  The smaller number of the <2 digits number> indi‐
       cates the higher priority of <input method name>.

       These <2 digits number>_<input method name>.conf files define few variables and functions.  The value of IM_CONFIG_SHORT  is
       the  short  description  of the input method for the menu.  The value of IM_CONFIG_LONG is the long description of the input
       method explaining its package dependency.  The package_menu shell function defines as a function to return true if any asso‐
       ciated  input  method packages are installed to activate its menu entry.  The package_auto shell function defines as a func‐
       tion to return true if the sufficient input method packages are installed for the auto  mode.   These  definitions  use  the
       package_status shell function which takes package name as its argument and returns true if it is installed properly.

       The  menu lists input methods with the <2 digits number> between 00 and 89.  The auto mode considers its input method candi‐
       date from <2 digits number> between 10 and 79 in this order.  The usage convention of <2 digits number> is:

       00-09:  Input Method choice mode       (default/auto/cjkv/REMOVE)

       10-49:  Input Method supporting multiple languages.(auto ready)

       50-79:  Input Method supporting limited languages. (auto ready)

       80-89:  Input Method (deprecated one) (not for auto)

       90-99:  Used internally by im-config (not for auto)

       This structure ensures to have different input methods to be installed side-by-side with minimal user configurations.

       If you have any problem, see the first part of ~/.xsession-errors and look for the cause.   If  you  are  running  im-config
       while  Debian  (sid)  system  is undergoing a major library transition, you may need to manually set up ~/.xinputrc with ad‐
       justed library version number etc.  Please file a bug report to the im-config package  using  reportbug(1)  describing  your
       resolution experience.


       This manual page was written by Osamu Aoki <>, for the Debian GNU/Linux system (but may be used by others).