When I was discussing to my friend Naveen about setting up Tamil input on my Linux machine, he suggested that I should try transliteration softwares. But there are lots of disadvantages with transliteration
1) Can’t experience the fun of writing in Tamil
2) Can’t type directly in to any window. need to open the transliteration software , type in it and then transfer it to the require window.
3) more key strokes are required while typing in transliteration than direct typing
4) Setting up Tamil language input in Linux is easier than installing a transliteration software, (assuming that you dont want to use a webservice)
Setting up Tamil input using KDE default support
Launch the ‘Keyboard Layout – KDE control Module’ using ‘alt+F2’ launcher or run ‘/usr/bin/kcmshell4 keyboard_layout’ on a console running under KDE. you will get the following window.
Add India from the available layouts to the active layouts and select the Tamil layout that you want. KDE4.2 supports 4 Tamil keyboard layouts . A keyboard layout is the arrangement of Tamil characters on the standard keyboard. For example, Tamil Tab typewriter layout will look as follows
Select the layout you want . Goto ‘Switching options tab’ and select the shortcut key to switch between the layouts. Alternatively select the ‘ show indicator for single layout’ so that KDE shows a flag icon in the tray. Clicking on this icon will switch through the available layouts.
Setting up Tamil99 phonetic keyboard layout
However, unfortunately KDE by default doesnot support the Tamil_Tab_Phonetic layout (Tamil99 Phonetic). This is the layout promoted by Tamil nadu government and recommended by experts.And ofcourse my favorite. To set this up we need to install SCIM ( Smart Common Input Method) modules. They support wide varity of languages including many Indian languages and Chinese, Japanes, Korean. To install SCIM Open Yast->Software->Software Manager and select the following modules. Some of them may not be necessary, However nothing wrong in selecting them.
தமிழுக்கு அமுதென்று பேர்! – அந்தத்
தமிழ் இன்பத் தமிழ்எங்கள் உயிருக்கு நேர்!