Installing Support For Chinese Text In CentOS 7

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I have just done a minimal installation of CentOS7 followed by X Windows and the Mate desktop on a workstation. Although the default language is English, I would like to be able to write Chinese text in various applications.

I seem to remember this was very easy to do in CentOS 6 and Gnome: possibly only requiring only a simple ‘yum groupinstall “Chinese Support”‘ after which I could use iBus to switch between languages. This does not seem to work in CentOS 7.

Suggestions? Thank you.

14 thoughts on - Installing Support For Chinese Text In CentOS 7

  • I’m going to add that a quick look through pkgs.org shows that CentOS-7x does have packages for fcitx-pinyin and a few other Chinese engines, and it might be worth considering making the switch. It seems (general impression on my part) to be replacing ibus in a lot of places, in the same way ibus gradually replaced scim.

  • I installed fcitx-pinyn, and its dependencies, and I now have ZH as a choice but have not been able to type pinyin and get a list of Chinese characters to choose among like I could on CentOS 6. Does anyone have it working?

  • Still have not solved my problem above, i.e., after installing fcitx I can switch between US English and a European language but not to Chinese.

    I run the Mate Desktop on CentOS 7 and the configuration tool for fcitx that has been installed in the Settings Panel complains that a fcitx-config/fcitx-configtool program is missing.

    I have not been able to find that program on the ‘net and am hoping someone else – anyone – is using fcitx for input of an Asian language in CentOS7/Mate…

    By the way, LibreOffice seems to have a couple of Chinese fonts installed, I am not sure I need to install additional fonts for the OS?

  • After leaving this along for several weeks I made another attempt at trying to get fcitx up and running on CentOS 7 and the Mate desktop. I discovered that there is a diagnostic tool, fcitx-diagnose, that provided some additional information.

    One of the missing programs was the fcitx-configtool that lacked the GUI part and that so far I have been unable to find on the ‘net. It seems that the appropriate GUI tool would be fcitx-config-gtk3 and is necessary for configuring fcitx.

    Does anyone have fcitx-config-gtk3 up and running?

    I have to vent and say that I am very, very surprised that this tool for entering Asian text on CentOS 7 is so poorly developed, poorly documented and poorly packaged. One would have thought that the Asian market for RHEL/CentOS 7 would be of sufficient importance for all relevant programs to be available in one of the key repositories.

    I am under the impression that fcitx, considered the replacement of iBus used in CentOS 6 – and which worked flawlessly – has not been updated since 2013. Further, the developers have not bothered with a proper support website, instead most information is absent.

  • Yes, me, as mentioned above.

    Ok, do this, which is also described on my page under some other distributions.
    Quit X. Go into ~/.config/fcitx. Edit profile, looking for pinyan:False. Change that False to True and startx again. It should then show as available.

    I think, when I decided to use fcitx on CentOS-7, I already knew about this method so never even looked for configtool.

    > By the way, LibreOffice seems to have a couple of Chinese fonts installed, I am not sure I need to install additional fonts for the OS?
    Once you get it running, you can see. Possibly not.

  • As mentioned, I don’t have it working, but it shouldn’t be necessary.. It takes developers, probably unpaid, to do it as they can.
    I would guess it’s RedHat, an American company, that decides what goes in official repositories and doesn’t see a need for it.

    It seems to be. I first tried it when I had to write a script to get ibus to switch between English and Japanese.

    Seriously, I would file a RHEL bug report as RFA (Request for enhancement). Now that I mention that, I may file a request to create a package for fcitx-anthy.

  • Scott, great, thank you very much! Changing the pinyin setting to true from false allowed me to use pinyin to type Chinese into a terminal window. One correction, though, the setting is not in ~/.config/fcitx but in ~/.config/profile.

    I only had time for a very quick test of typing pinyin into a blank LibreOffice document since I am leaving on a trip. This did not work, however.

    How do I get this working? In the font selection listbox there are a couple of – ugly-looking – simplified Chinese fonts but I could not get it to work. Do you have any suggestions here?

  • Unfortunately I do not have a RHEL license, only using CentOS, but it would be great if you could file the RFA.

    In the meantime, we should look at compiling fcitx-config-gtk3. Unfortunately, my skills in this are are very rudimentary…

  • On my version here, it’s ~/.config/fcitx/profile, but regardless, glad you found it–there may be differences between the Chinese and Japanese version.

    As for libreoffice, you might look under tools, options, languages and see what the default Asian is.

    If that doesn’t do it try something like XMODIFIERS=@im

  • As for filing bugs I don’t believe you need a RedHat subscription. I would actually file it under Fedora, Fedora EPEL. All you have to do is go to bugzilla.redhat.com and create an account, it doesn’t require RedHat subscriptions. Then you pick classification, (Fedora) and take it from there.

  • My only suggestion is to try to set this up under the GNOME3 desktop provided by CentOS, rather than what is built out of EPEL. It’s the only desktop that has had testing by Red Hat. MATE is provided by EPEL as a volunteer effort, and isn’t considered part of CentOS.

    I encountered the same problem when I was running Cinnamon as my desktop, I was able to add several Chinese input methods but I
    couldn’t actually use them. I switched to Gnome 3 and it just worked out of the box.

  • Am Dienstag, den 18.07.2017, 09:17 -0400 schrieb Jonathan Billings:

    Only 10 Users here :-) on that Cluster and everything behind of diffrent firewall.

    Cinnamon => Keyboard level to dbus, I think.

    Andy

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