Getting Korean Hangul Working on Ubuntu 18 and higher

How to install Korean Hangul Keyboard Ubuntu Gnome 18

In Ubuntu there are two things that need to happen to be able to type a non-native language into the operating system. You need to get the fonts and the stuff and you then need to configure stuff so the keyboard knows what to do. Without doing both, nothing will work and you’ll think things are broken.

Part 1 – Getting your Korean Language Fonts and Stuff Installed on Machine

  1. super key (sometimes erroneously called the ‘windows key’)
  2. start typing’languages’
  3. Select ‘language and region’ option (may not be top, largest option)
  4. Click the’manage installed languages’ button
  5. If you get the ‘language support is not installed completely select ‘install’. you will be prompted for your admin pass
  6. Click the ‘install/remove lanaguages’ button (on the same ‘Language SUpport’ window. NOTE: This window seems to get easily hidden by other stuff but you can find it again easily in the left launcher while it’s open)
  7. Start typing ‘Ko..’ to trigger the search of ‘Korean’ language when the list of language and their checkboxes appear
  8. select ‘Korean’ and ‘apply’ you will again be prompted for your admin pass. If you are coming from another less secure operating system this is about securing your computer against weird scripts and making sure what is happening is authorized…At this point fonts start downloading and the ‘applying changes’ window is on your screen. This takes a little while sometimes.

Remember, nothing will work yet. You have to do the next section 😉

Now, important little tip here. You need to REBOOT your system now to assure that the input sources in the next steps are refreshed. I cannot tell you how many hours I have burned on this one so just to be sure, take a second to reboot the machine now before continuing.

Part 2 – Getting Input Source Setup So You Can Actually Use the Language

  1. On the same page ‘Language and Region’, under ‘Input Sources’ section, hit the plus + button. I should state here that if for some reason you aren’t seeing what I”m seeing here, just hit your super key and then ‘settings’ and then go to “language & Region” from there. Sometimes stuff moves around…
  2. Hit the 3 dot vertical hamburger icon looking option at the bottom of the list… admittedly this step and the next are not intuitive so feel free to file a GUI suggestion with the fine folks who make Gnome. 🙂
  3. By hitting that option a search field opens up which you’d think would allow you to type ‘Korean’ or ‘Hangul’ and then find your language – but in this case you’d be incorrect for thinking that. What you need to do is scroll to the bottom of this list and selecting ‘Other’. You can alternatively type ‘Ot’ into the search field here…but you cannot type anything more than ‘Ot’ Admittedly this part is plain bad for design… so probably just use the scroll feature here to avoid thinking it’s missing, lol.
  4. Now you are able to use the search field to type ‘Korean’ and / or scroll down to find it. So go ahead and do that now…
  5. You wil see ‘Korean’ and “Korean(101/104 key compatible)” but those are just decoys! Pure deception! The one you want is called “Korean(hangul)”. I have no idea what the other ones are or do but I do know they don’t work for me. Again, if you don’t see this specific option now, you probably didn’t listen to me above and didn’t reboot your machine so be a good student and go ahead and reboot that now…

After it’s highlighted in your list, select the ‘add’ button which should change to a green colour when it’s ready. You should now be brought back to the “Language and Region’ screen and see ‘Korean(Hangul)’ in your list of ‘Input Sources’ You should also notice in the top right area where your wifi, battery, other stuff is that the symbol for your native language has appeared with a drop down arrow. In my case it’s English so I see ‘en’ with the down arrow.

Technically now you have Korean installed and a keyboard input ready to go but a quick tutorial on setting up and using it is probably wise…

Setting up and Using Korean Keyboard

Probably, if you’re like me, you’ve already hit the down arrow, switched to the ‘Ko’ (Korean) option and started typing only to find that it’s still typing English. Why is that after all this work? Because Korean keyboard input is able to type both English and Korean so you have to be able to – while in KO mode – switch back and forth. So what keys do that?

First, let’s take a look at how to switch between input sources. On the Language & Region screen, if you hit the ‘Options’ button (which appeared after you installed Korean) you can now see the key combos to switch between ‘en’ and ‘ko’. This is useful because I find that most of the time I want to be in ‘en’ because my fingers sometimes switch me to Korean accidentally during the day when I don’t need it. The default combo is ‘super’ + space bar. What is ‘super’? See above. It’s the powerful key to the left of the space bar sometimes erroneously called the ‘windows key’. Hit that with space bar and you’ll be able to switch.

Next, while in ‘korean mode’ how to switch between English and Korean? The default appears to be ‘shift + space bar’ (while in Korean mode).

You can make this combo whatever you want by one of two methods:
a) while in Korean mode, hitting the top ‘EN’ drop down in top menu of screen. This will then give you the IBUS ‘setup’ option. I like this way to adjust things. However you can also find it by
b) going to language and Region page, highlighting Korean(hangul) in input sources and hitting the settings cogwheel. Same-same….

Nice. Now you’re typing 강남 style.

Hope this helps. Should have made a video but yeah whatever too late.

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