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How to type Arabic in Ubuntu 8.04


The first step that if you want to type Arabic in Ubuntu is you must have SCIM in your Ubuntu machine.
Scim by default is supported by Ubuntu, so after you installed your Ubuntu in your machine you’ll get Scim already installed. The next thing is you have to install the input languange.

1. To install it you can do the following things (i grabbed this from ichsan’s blog):

Install language for Japanese, Korean, Arabic and others.

apt-get install scim-anthy, scim-hangul, scim-tables-additional

2. Create an 644 permission file: /etc/X11/Xsession.d/75custom-scim_init which contains


3. Run scim -d

4. Logout

5. Restart X (Ctrl+Alt+Backspace)

Actually you just need scim-tables-additional if you want to type in arabic, but it is fine in case in the future you want to type japanese or korean character.

The next step after you have installed the language is you have to run the arabic (egypt) input mode in scim. You can simply press Ctrl+space to activate it, and press Ctrl+space once more if you want to deactivate it (back to normal). You can see your scim input status in top panel, if you see ع, then you can start to type in arabic, you can test it with gedit, though you have to change font scale to the bigger one, because the default gedit font scale (monospace 10) not quite big enough to make your arabic letter to clearly seen.

Here is the table that shows you what key that you must press and the arabic letter that will come out, note that if the latin letter is written as capital letter, then you must type in capital letter form also, for example A then you must type it shift+a. This keys combination does work if you use US Keyboard layout, because i just only have that kind of keyboard, i do not know if this keys combination also work in other keyboard layout.

I accidentally found this combination keys after i saw this table, then i manage to found all the ‘hidden’ letter, :p

Arabic letter table

arabic letter keys combination
ا A
ب b
ت t
ث th
ج j
ح h.
خ kh
د d
ذ dh
ر r
ز z
س s
ش sh
ص s.
ض d.
ط t.
ظ z.
غ gh
ف f
ق q
ك k
ل l
م m
ن n
ه h
و w
ي y
ة h’
ٔ /2
ى I

Other arabic symbol

vowel name combination keys
َ fatha a
ِ kasra i
ُ damma u
ْ sukun /’
ٰ alif above aa
ً fatha tanwin an
ٍ kasra tanwin in
ٌ damma tanwin un
ّ sadda/tashdid x

For arabic numeral just type the keys that coresponding its values, for example 1 for ١, 2 for ٢, 0 for ٠, and so on.

if you want to type this letter لا lam+alif then type l+A.


  • the word شكرن is come out if you typed shkrn, or if you want the word with vowel like this شُكْرَنْ you must typed shuk/’ran/’
  • the word محبّة is come out if you typed mh.bxh’, or if with vowel like مَحَبَّة you must typed mah.abxah’

So, الحمدلله we can type arabic in ubuntu now.

7 Responses to How to type Arabic in Ubuntu 8.04

  1. How about the letter لا

  2. anjar widianto

    like i’ve wrote in my blog, if you want to type لا just type lam and then alif (l and then A)

  3. What about alif maad (alif with the ~ on top)?

  4. anjar widianto

    if that's the case, it's simple just type tilde (~)
    for example آ just type alif then tilde (A then ~)

  5. السلام عليكم
    How about the additional letters such as پ and چ
    btw, i copied that letter from the wiki

  6. anjar widianto

    وعليكم السّلام
    hi haziq, unfortunately those letters seem cannot be type using this method.
    for your note this arabic scim input method using egyptian arabic as their basic, and i thought those additional letters are not used in egyptian arabic (cmiiw)
    but if you find out how to type those letters please let us know 🙂

  7. السلام عليكم
    referring from the full table here,
    there are no input for those Jawi letters,i hope somebody will develop Jawi input in the future,
    in the meantime, i will just copy those letters from the Character Map (Applications>Accessories>Character Map)

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