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
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.