Setting up Malayalam on Ubuntu or for that matter any other GNU/Linux distribution like Fedora, Mandriva has been progressively getting easier thanks to the wonderful effort of the free software community going by the name "Swathanthra Malayalam Computing" or SMC in short. Most of the patches and tweaks have gone upstream to the OS trunks and most distros are already Malayalam capable. A few minor tweaks are required to set up reading and writing in Malayalam in the latest version of Ubuntu 8.10 - Intrepid Ibex>
The steps required are as follows: -
1) Enable Malayalam in the Language Settings
2) Enable SCIM
3) Install Swanalekha - scim-ml-phonetic
4) Install Malayalam Fonts
We have compiled the complete process into a ready to use script. All you have to do is open a terminal and then run
to start another shell as the root user. Now copy and paste the following code into a text file and save the text file as install-ml.sh on your Desktop.
In the terminal that you had opened type
apt-get install language-support-ml language-pack-ml language-pack-gnome-ml language-pack-gnome-ml-base language-pack-kde-ml language-pack-kde-ml-base apt-get install scim scim-gtk2-immodule m17n-contrib scim-m17n wget http://download.savannah.gnu.org/releases/smc/Swanalekha/scim-ml-phonetic_0.1.3-2_all.deb dpkg -i scim-ml-phonetic_0.1.3-2_all.deb wget http://ftp.jp.debian.org/debian/pool/main/t/ttf-indic-fonts/ttf-malayalam-fonts_0.5.4_all.deb dpkg -i ttf-malayalam-fonts_0.5.4_all.deb touch /etc/X11/Xsession.d/74custom-scim_startup chmod 646 /etc/X11/Xsession.d/74custom-scim_startup echo 'export XMODIFIERS="@im=SCIM"' >> /etc/X11/Xsession.d/74custom-scim_startup echo 'export GTK_IM_MODULE="scim"' >> /etc/X11/Xsession.d/74custom-scim_startup echo 'export XIM_PROGRAM="scim -d"' >> /etc/X11/Xsession.d/74custom-scim_startup echo 'export QT_IM_MODULE="scim"' >> /etc/X11/Xsession.d/74custom-scim_startup chmod 644 /etc/X11/Xsession.d/74custom-scim_startup
source ~/Desktop/install-ml.shMake sure that you don't see any errors or warnings. Answer any questions in the affirmative and that is it. Your Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex box is ready for Malayalam. Restart X (Ctrl + Alt + Backspace) or reboot and make sure that SCIM icon (a keyboard) comes in your notification area.
Once you login back click on the SCIM icon and you should see a menu with the list of languages. Go to Malayalam and select Phonetic. This corresponds to swanalekha transliteration scheme for Malayalam. You can switch back to English by pressing Ctrl + Space keys. Open any text editor and you should be able to switch between the schemes and type Malayalam or English
You can get more information about SMC and its activities at Swathanthra Malayalam Computing (SMC) website