Howto install Vietnamese Input Method Scim-Unikey on Ubuntu

Today, I would like to introduce the Vietnamese input method in Ubuntu. Scim-Unikey is the most stable package for typing Vietnamese characters, by combining the advantages of Smart Character  Input Method (SCIM) and the most famous Vietnam input method Unikey. Scim-Unikey now is maintained by Ubuntu-VN and Vietnamese Ubuntu Community. If you want to learn Vietnamese language, I recommend you to use Scim-Unikey in Ubuntu.

If you are using Ubuntu 9.10 or Ubuntu 10.04, please refer to install Vietnamese Input Method ibus-unikey in Ubuntu since IBus becomes the main input method manager instead of Scim.

Install Ubuntu-VN Repository

Using Software Sources

Add Ubuntu-VN PPA Authentication key
  1. Download public key from
  2. Go to menu System->Administration->Software Sources
  3. At tab Authentication, click Import Key File… -> browse to the downloaded file -> click OK.
Add APT source list
  1. Go to menu System->Administration->Software Sources
  2. At tab Third-Party Software,  Add the following lines based on your current Ubuntu version:
  • Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope)
deb jaunty main
deb-src jaunty main
  • Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex)
deb intrepid main
deb-src intrepid main
  • Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron)
deb hardy main
deb-src hardy main

Using Command Line

Open Terminal and type the corresponding line

Add Ubuntu-VN PPA Authentication key
wget -q -O- | \
sudo apt-key add -


sudo apt-key adv --recv-keys --keyserver \ 81E7FE09
Add APT source list

Type the following lines based on your current Ubuntu version:

  • Ubuntu 9.04
sudo wget -O \
  • Ubuntu 8.10
sudo wget -O \
  • Ubuntu 8.04
sudo wget -O \

Install scim-unikey packages

Now we are ready to install scim-unikey package:

  • Type search and find packag named scim-unikey in Synaptic
  • Use the command: sudo apt-get install scim-unikey


  • Go to System -> Administration -> Language support and select Use input method engines (IME) to enter complex characters


  • Go to System -> Preferences -> SCIM Input Method Setup and assign hotkey for SCIM-Unikey input method.


You should restart your machine or logout your current session  and login again. You can see and config anything with SCIM setup.

We have some input method types but the most popular type is Telex Unicode.

Reboot the machine and try to hit the hotkey and now we go :).  Xin chào (hello) by press: xin chaof

Install offline

  1. Go to this website:
  2. Choose the suitable package name and ubuntu version.
  3. At the Package files tab, choose the corresponding .deb file
    • i386: for Ubuntu 32 bit
    • amd64: for Ubuntu 64bit
    • lpia:  for Ubuntu Mobile
    • all: for all other architectures
  4. Download and install as nomal
  5. Configure as above


Ubuntu-VN Wiki

Cài bộ gõ tiếng Việt Scim-Unikey cho Ubuntu 9.04

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