IMSettings is a framework that delivers Input Method
settings and applies the changes immediately. so it will
takes an effect without restarting applications and the
Input Method is used to input some dozens of characters that
can't be represented with ASCII characters, with some
framework such as XIM and SCIM via GTK+/Qt
immodule. particularly which to handle languages that is a
bit complex to do the same thing with the keyboard layout
such as XKB. In the past, those frameworks has been applied
through the environment variables, such as XMODIFIERS and
GTK_IM_MODULE. and can't be influenced immediately and can't
be without restarting the desktop because of its nature -
it's being inherited from the parent process unless it's
being brought up with the obvious thing from the terminal
say. Also, there are no such framework to bring up the
necessary process at the run time - of course anyone could
runs it manually though, it's totally out of focus on this
* Provide the information of Input Method through IMSettings
* Provide the DBus service to start/stop process of Input
* Provide the way to apply Input Method to applications
IMSettings may helps when:
* you may want to disable Input Method entirely to use
features on any applications, which actually can't use
with Input Method because of the key conflicting.
* you may try another Input Method without closing current
* someone may wants to borrow your desktop temporarily,
which uses different Input Method.
* the appropriate Input Methods needs to be installed by
default regardless of you use, such as Live image.
* X (with IMSettings XIM server; require libgxim)
Information files for Input Method
To make Input Methods available from IMSettings, every Input
Methods that hopes so has to have the information file to
let IMSettings know. those files is usually put under a
directory where you can change the default value with
--with-xinputdir. the filename has to contain .conf or
something that you can also change the default value with
--with-xinput-suffix to avoid listing every Input Methods
that might not work for some languages. Input Methods
doesn't support multiple languages such as XIM doesn't have
to have .conf suffix or so. xim.conf can deals with such
configuration files properly for appropriate languages
according to current locale.
IMSettings has some builtin configuration files to handle
some special behavior and for convenience.
This is a special builtin configuration file. IMSettings
deals with it as the state of "disabled" regardless of its
This is also a special builtin configuration file to deal
with XIM servers. it's supposed to give you a different
Input Method against current locale because XIM server
works on the certain locales only in most cases. otherwise
simply applying none.conf.
To deploy your configuration file on xim.conf, please
note the following things:
1. no $XINPUT_SUFFIX to your configuration file. otherwise
it appears on the available Input Method list. that's
not what expected here, because it may not works for
2. create a symlink or whatever to the expected locales
for Input Method under $XINPUT_PATH where you specify
with --with-xinputdir at the build time. otherwise that
would be /etc/X11/xinit/xinput.d.
This is available for convenience, particularly for
locales that GTK+'s simple immodule behaves differently
comparing to X11 compose table.
The following parameters can be described as the shell
environment variables like FOO=BAR in the information file.
* AUXILIARY_PROGRAM=<string> [optional]
An optional program that may want to bring up for Input
Method, such as the panel and the toolbar and so on.
* AUXILIARY_ARGS=<string> [optional]
A list of command line options for AUXILIARY_PROGRAM.
* GTK_IM_MODULE=<string> [mandatory]
GTK+ immodule name that want to use.
* ICON=<string> [optional]
An icon file to use in GUI.
* IMSETTINGS_IGNORE_ME=<boolean> [optional]
A parameter to hide Input Method from the inventory. you
however can still take an action against such Input Method
* LONG_DESC=<string> [optional]
An optional long description to explain what this Input
* PREFERENCE_PROGRAM=<string> [optional]
An optional program that set up Input Method. IMSettings
itself do nothing on this parameter. but other tools, such
as im-chooser will take an action for that.
* PREFERENCE_ARGS=<string> [optional]
A list of command line options for PREFERENCE_PROGRAM.
* QT_IM_MODULE=<string> [mandatory]
Qt immodule name that want to use.
* SHORT_DESC=<string>[:string] [optional]
An optional short description to explain what this Input
Method is. this variable is also used for the key to do
something on IMSettings. e.g. to start/stop Input Method
and get the information and so on. so this parameter has
to be unique. for extra option; depends on the backends
supports though, this parameter is capable to tell
the backend a sub input method. which may be useful if
Input Method supports multiple engines.
* XIM=<string> [mandatory]
This variable is used for XIM. actually it looks like
* XIM_PROGRAM=<string> [mandatory]
A XIM server be brought up to communicate through XIM
* XIM_ARGS=<string> [optional]
A list of command line options for XIM_PROGRAM.
Other variables used in xinput.sh
If you want to disable imsettings feature entirely, set
true. you'll miss the feature able to change IM on demand
but just need to reboot or restart the desktop after
If your desktop has XSETTINGS manager support and you're
sure it also supports imsettings, please file a bug to
imsettings. and set true temporarily to ignore checking
This affects when Input Method would be brought up. If you
are sure your desktop system doesn't support XDG autostart
mechanism, set "no". if you disable imsettings feature,
this won't affects anything.
A DBus service that provide a imsettings facility to
switch IM processes and gather input methods information.
A XIM bridge between client applications and real XIM
A GSettings backend to support Cinnamon Desktop.
A GConf backend to support GNOME2 Desktop.
A GSettings backend to support GNOME3 Desktop.
A LXDE backend to support LXDE Desktop.
A mateconf backend to support MATE Desktop.
A GSettings backend to support MATE 1.5 or later.
A Qt backend to support Qt applications.
A Xfce backend to support Xfce Desktop.
A XIM backend to support X applications.
IMSettings has the logging facility to help for debugging
purpose mainly. Any output from IMSettings and Input Methods
is stored into $XDG_CACHE_HOME/imsettings/log.