[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Please help a poor gaijin!

Stephen Pitts wrote:-
> Hi! I'm trying to figure out what level of Japanese input support exists
> in Debian.

Not much to my knowledge, unless you install Debian-jp.

> Ideally, I'd like to be able to receive messages written in
> Unicode with mutt (via the mutt-ja package), and type messages/documents
> in kana/kanji with vim and have them stored as Unicode.

I don't think you mean Unicode - I don't think mail is sent in
Unicode.  Most use EUC encoding with iso-220-jp.

I have mutt set up to read and send Japanese.  To do this, you need at
a minimum the following (there may be something I've omitted):

a) Japanese console fonts, and a Japanese console.  konfont is the
package for the fonts, and kon / kterm (say) for the virtual console /
X terminal emulator.

b) Japanese patches for mutt.  See


These patches apply almost cleanly to the debian slink source (this is
the route I took).

c) Setting up Japanese input is quite tricky.  I use canna, with
standard slink emacs20.  The various packages for this come with

I haven't got the printing working yet, but I've hardly tried.  I think
it's much easier than the setting up any of the above.  A Japanese
Debian book I've picked up points to a package called escpf at


which I haven't downloaded yet.

> Being able to print
> Japanese text would also be really nice. I'm a bit overwhelmed by how
> all of the packages work together. Do I need kinput2, canna, mutt-ja,
> and jvim-canna? Will I need some type of kana/kanji dictionary? Do I
> need to 'enable' kinput somehow, perhaps by editing my XF86Config?

With canna, one way to do it is to select a key which when pressed with
the CTRL key, toggles English / Japanese input.  I use the Windows key
right by the CTRL key on my standard English keyboard.

xmodmap -e 'keycode 115 = Kanji'

in .xsession achieves this.  emacs20 has its own interface to canna,
using CTRL + o.

Editing files in Japanese works beautifully, and it's even possible to
give files Japanese names.
> The English documentation is a little confusing and my Japanese fluency 
> isn't enough to begin to try and understand the stuff written in
> Japanese. Thanks to any and all who can shed light on this for me.

I found Craig Oda's stuff very informative about the issues behind a
Japanese setup:-


but the bit about emacs and canna didn't work for me; luckily what was
detailed in my book was a tad simpler and did work.  If you get close,
I may be able to help with the finishing touches.



Reply to: