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tamil-gtk2im - Tamil99 Keyboard Input module for GTK2…  more info»


Tamil99 Keyboard Input module for GTK2

The following is a short instruction for installation/compilation and usage of the Tamill99 keyboard input module for GTK2.

There are two encoding supported - TSCII and Unicode.

Source Compilation & Installation

NOTE: Please be adviced that a development system with development libraries are required for 
compiling the source code. gtk-dev, libtool, gcc, g++, etc. are some of the required tools.

To compile just run:


Once the compilation is completed (which should be pretty fast), run the installation script. 
You must be 'root' to run the script. The install should work fine on most standard 
distributions (RH, MDK, Debian, etc.). If this fails then take a look at the install script to 
see if they match with you system directory settings. PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU MODIFY THE PATHS IN 


Once the install script is done, you are ready to use the Tamil99 input module with any GTK2 application. See the usage section below. Also see Note-2 below.

Once the installation is complete, you are ready to use the GTK2 input module for the Tamil99 Keyboard. The installation installed modules supporting the TSCII and UNICODE encodings for TamilVP, Tamil99, and Anjal (only Unicode) layouts. Before you start using the keyboard modules, you have to set the default IM Module using the environment variable GTK_IM_MODULE. Valid entries for this variable are:

Example: In bash shell one would set the default input module as follows:

		export GTK_IM_MODULE=tamilvp-uni
This would set the default input module to Tamil Visaippalakai (UNICODE).

After installation is completed, close any of the GTK2/Gnome2 applications and relaunch them. When you right click on any text field (i.e. Text entry, file name entry, any thing you can enter text on - not the terminal), you will see a pop-up menu. Select 'Input Methods'. There you should see four entries - 'Tamil99 (TSCII)' , 'Tamil99 (UNICODE)', 'TamilVP (TSCII)', 'TamilVP (UNICODE)', and 'Tamil-Anjal (UNICODE)'. Select either one depending on your encoding.

Both input modules have built-in standard ASCII module also. This is so that you don't have to keep right clicking the mouse everytime you want to toggle between English as Tamil. When the input module is selected the language mode is 'English'. To toggle beteen Tamil & English, use the Double-Shift keys (see Note-1). i.e. press both the shift keys at the same time. Now you can type.

If you have any questions or comments please post to the tamillinux mailing list 
at  or email me directly at

Note-1: I had to use the double shift keys since many of the newer window managers are using most of the other standard keys. The keys that can be used in x86 keyboards are not available accross other platforms for portability.

Note-2: The installation script assumes you have a standard Gnome 2.2 distribution.If there is any problem or you don't see the input modules when you double clicked, you probably have not installed the libraries in the correct directory. To correct this, first type 'gtk-query-immodules-2.0' command in the command line. This should display the search path at the top and all registered Im modules. Make sure you copy all *.so and *.la into that directory and then execute 'gtk-query-immodules-2.0 > /etc/gtk-2.0/gtk.immodules'. Now relaunch the application.

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