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Sung M. Kim
Sung M. Kim

Posted on • Originally published at on

Korean input on Kubuntu 20.04

Installed Kubuntu 20.04 LTS (KDE version of Ubuntu) on my old laptop.

Had a bit of trouble setting up Korean input so decided to share here.

I will use KDE GUI for the majority of the tasks here.

Table of Contents

  1. Install Korean
  2. Install ibus-hangul
  3. Configure ibus
  4. Autostart ibus-daemon
  5. Trying out Korean input

1. Install Korean

  1. Go to Application Launcher, and search & select "Language" 1.1
  2. Click on "Add languages..." button
  3. Select Korean (한국어) & click on "Add" button 1.2-3

Now Korean is available in your system so let's move on and install ibus-hangul, which supports Korean input.

2. Install ibus-hangul

Quick and easy way is to install ibus-hangul is via apt command,

sudo apt install ibus-hangul

Let's now configure ibus to work with Korean next.

3. Configure ibus

  1. Go to Application Launcher, and search & select "Ibus Preferences" 3.1
    • You will see that the default "Next input method" is <Super>space 5.1
    • <Super> is the "Windows" key on your keyboard
    • So you can press Windows + space to switch between English & Korean
  2. Go to "Input Method" tab, and click on "Add" button
  3. Find and select Korean (한국어) and click on "Add" button, and close the preferences dialog 3.2

You might get prompted to start ibus-daemon when you opened "Ibus Preferences".

It's a one-off execution, so when you restart your machine, you'd need to start the ibus-daemon manually.

As it's a pain, let's autostart the daemon on log on.

4. Autostart ibus-daemon

  1. Go to Application Launcher, and search & select "Autostart" 4.1
  2. Click on "Add Program" button and then "Open file dialog" button 4.2
  3. In the "Name" field, add /usr/bin/ibus-daemon & click "Open" button 4.3
  4. Click "OK" to close "Choose Application" dialog, which then opens "Properties for ibus-daemon-desktop" dialog, automatically 4.4
  5. Go to "Application" tab and add -d in the "Command" to start the daemon in the background.
    • "Command" field should be /usr/bin/ibus-daemon -d 4.5.1
    • You will now see the command under "Desktop File" 4.5.2
  6. Save and close with "OK" button

⚠ At this point you need to restart your machine.

5. Trying out Korean input

After you restarting the machine, open up a browser and press <Super>space to change the language to Korean.


At this point, we haven't set the default language for Korean input to be Korean. You can start using Korean after pressing shift + space.

You can change the default keyboard binding in the preferences screen.


You should now be able to type in Korean (I am using VS Code below)

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Top comments (5)

jeikabu profile image

Wow, and I thought the days of painful IME installs were behind us. Thanks for sharing this, I think it's important for people to see the kind of hurdles large swathes of the world have to jump through.

dance2die profile image
Sung M. Kim

It was pretty tough spending few days as I forgot to blog last time 😅

I believe Ubuntu (not Kubuntu) makes it easy but I prefer KDE so decided to go with the long route 🙂

mxa profile image
Max Neupert

I find ibus not very flexible for Korean input and prefer nimf. Easier to install too :)

curl -sL | sudo -E bash -
sudo apt install nimf nimf-libhangul
im-config -n nimf

fly profile image

Oh how I wish this tutorial existed back in the day when I had to take extreme measures to make this work

dance2die profile image
Sung M. Kim

It was pretty tough still... This was the 3rd time doing this but as I didn't leave a lot, I just wasted half a day trynna get it working again.

Hopefully this helps you and others (as well as me next time 😉).