Typing in Korean on Lubuntu 18.10

Here is the best way I've found on Lubuntu 18.10 to type in Korean. This will let you use any keyboard (Korean or US English) to type in Korean. It comes down to just a quick install and 1-time configuration of the fcitx input utility.


Lubuntu 18.10 has brought some big changes. Even on 18.04 you could still enable different languages and input methods partly via the Language settings. But this settings option is removed in 18.10. It's not even present. You can't add another language via GUI (yet). Likely this is due to the big move to LXQT and they haven't written a GUI yet. Who knows.

18.10 comes with both iBus and fcitx installed by default, and some people find iBus easier, but recently I've preferred fcitx because it allows me to easily use one single toggle key (a 한/영 key or the right-alt on an English keyboard). iBus always seemed to need a 2-key combination.

The good news is that you don't even have to install any Korean language packs the way we did before. Instead we'll just add the Korean input, and configure it, and we'll be done. This looks complicated because of all the screenshots, but really it shouldn't take more than 2 or 3 minutes.

Part 1 - Install FCITX Hangul 

First we will remove iBus (to prevent conflicts), and install the needed components, especially fcitx-hangul.

Run each of these commands in a terminal:

sudo apt-get purge ibus
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install fcitx
sudo apt-get install fcitx-hangul
sudo apt-get install qt4-qtconfig
sudo apt-get install im-config

You might want to restart the computer now, but you probably don't have to.

Part 2 - Configure FCITX

Now run im-config by simply running this command in a terminal:


A pop-up box should appear:

Click OK.

Next you'll see this warning. We want to set fcitx as our default.

Click Yes.

A list of user specified input methods appears.

Choose fcitx as in the picture.

Click OK.

We should see this confirmation that the user configuration is modified.

Click OK.

Now restart the session (you can just log out and log back into Lubuntu).

When you log back in, you should see the indicator down in your menu tray now.

Right click it, and choose "Configure Fcitx".

Don't worry if you don't have the indicator. You can also simply go to the Lubuntu Menu > Preferences > Fcitx Configuration.

Now you should see the Input Method Configuration.

You want this to show just English and Hangul.
If "Keyboard - Korean" is there too, go ahead and remove it
If Hangul is not there, manually add "Hangul" (not Korean) by clicking the "+" and searching. You may need to uncheck "current language only".

Now switch over to Global Config settings tab in the same window.

Here you'll choose which key will toggle between English and Korean input. Add your alt-right as the key if you're familiar/comfortable with the normal 한/영 key on a Korean keyboard. Just tap the "trigger input method" button and press the desired keyboard key. Make sure the other option is "empty" and an extra key is "disabled".

Your key may appear as Ralt or R-alt or something similar.

Now test it out.

You should be able to now toggle back and forth between Korean and English very easily in all apps.


Note that the indicator may not appear in the menu when you next restart the session. That's OK. The service will still be running.

This method can also work for other language inputs too. For example, if you wanted to use Japanese input instead, you could substitute fcitx-mozc for fcitx-hangul. All the rest should basically be the same instructions.

Good luck.


  1. Thanks! This also works for Lubuntu 16.04, but there is no need to install fcitx, its already there. You mainly have to look at the last part of your tutorial and then do the keyboard setting under fcitx properties (under preferences menu). Thanks again for sharing!


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