Language, Life Skills, Tutorial, Ubuntu

How to install Korean Hangul Keyboard Ubuntu Gnome 20.04

If you ended up on my 18.04 tutorial for Hangul then you should be here if you have 20.04. There is a difference now in this procedure starting in Part 2


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 some1. times.

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

This part is different from 18.04, and much better I might say!

  1. Hit the super key
  2. Start typing ‘Settings’
  3. Hit the ‘Settings’ cogwheel icon
  4. On the left tab scroll down to “Language and Region’
  5. under ‘Input Sources’ section, hit the plus + button.
    Small break here for some kudos: It looks like the developers have fixed something here that I whined about in my 18.04 blog, so it’s pretty easy now. Nice work devs!
  6. Select “Korean” which then pops up some keyboard stuff. 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…
  7. 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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4 thoughts on “How to install Korean Hangul Keyboard Ubuntu Gnome 20.04

  1. Hello! Thanks for the tutorial. I have a fresh Pop! OS 20.10 installation and it was very helpful. I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but even after you successfully set up iBus to type in Korean, the virtual keyboard would only display latin characters. I am currently learning Korean on a latin keyboard and therefore benefit from having the korean keyboard layout before me through a virtual display so I can type what I need, but so far have not followed a solution to this. Is there an extra step that needs to be followed? Thanks for your help.

  2. and with upgrade of 22.04 everything is gone… unable to enter any hangul char 🙁
    the keyboard layout now i just in qwerty.

  3. Initially I was just interested in learning how to add a Korean input method on Ubuntu, but more I read about these perennial issues regarding the issue regarding only Korean language out of many others, I begin to think some ‘evil or stupidity’ at play here. Ether greed, ego-driven animalistic-competition, nationalistic (such my monkey baby is the best in the world), or whatever that seem to go against the open-source software and scientific collaboration sprit of these days. So FxxK off and answer these questions:
    (1) Why is Korean input method addition different than other languages in Ubuntu?
    (2) Who or which government is causing this annoyance? If it becomes know, please relay my sincere “Fxxk you” message to them.
    (3) Please, let free world progress. Stop this stupid thing. Work with open source, so that adding Korean Input method in Ubuntu working just like other languages. Otherwise, shove it to your Axx and hide it there forever rotten.

    Thank you for all the hard work of world’s engineers and scientists for tomorrow.

    1. No evil. No stupidity. Simple lack of support from the Korean community. I hope you will join the community to help make it all better! Find more Koreans, bring them to Ubuntu, see amazing results. Koreans are top-shelf this way when they see a cool thing but most of them are stuck on dumb windows so yeah. there’s your problem…

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