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RimeChinese is an IM but can be considered a full blown IME if it had its own backend like ibus and fcitx. This allows rime to be highly extensible and provide features such as:

  1. Hot switching of languages
  2. Hot switching of scripts
  3. Integrated settings menu
  4. Plugin hot reload

Rime is made specifically for speakers of Chinese languages, and as such it provides a wide array of built-in and addon Chinese languages, with full UI and documentation translations to multiple dialects and many popular input integrations that might not be available in regular ibus and fcitx or would require additional plugins called recipes. Rime is also highly extensible, but doesn't sacrifice usability. Installing and keeping recipes up to date is simple thanks to its micro-package manager, plum, that allows the user to install any custom input methods(recipes) in a standardized way.

All of this and more will be explained in this page.


To install rime for ibus run:

root # emerge ibus-rime

Now run

root # dispatch-conf

to update your /etc/environment file to include adding an environment variable for plumexplained below

After installation you can find the rime in the ibus-setup GUI, under Input Method, the button Add on the side panel, Chinese.

Using rime

The first time you open rime

As expected, switching to rime in ibus and clicking on an input box, you should get the rime GUI to appear. The first button(left to right), when clicked switches between Chinese characters and English, the second and third one, deploy and update the rime database respectively.

By default when you start typing in pinyin in Chinese mode, you will get a list of recommendations, the more you use rime, the better rime gets at recommending phrases tailored to your way of typing. However, the default configuration has some flaws:

  1. By default it uses Traditional characters
  2. Defaults to luna pinyin
  3. Defaults to list mode

To fix the Traditional characters open the settings panel using F4 or CTRL+` when rime is active on a page. You should get a list of settings. The first settings is always the input method you're currently using, the menu where you change your input method and the rest are other input methods you have enabled.

Clicking on the second settings opens the following sub-menu:

  1. 中文 -> 西文 - Changes between the current Chinese and the current western language(By default set to Chinese)
  2. 全角 -> 半角 - Changes the characters when inputting the current western language(by default set to full width latin)
  3. 漢字 -> 汉字 - Changes between Traditional and Simplified characters(by default set to traditional)
  4. 。, -> ., - Changes punctuation width between full and half width(By default set to full width)

Bundled input methods and installing additional ones

Currently in Funtoo we install the initial input method list from rime. You can locate it here. Here is a list with translations for non-Chinese speakers and explanation:

  1. bopomofo 注音 - BoPoMoFo input
  2. cangjie 倉頡五代 - Cangjie input
  3. essay - The default rime vocabulary and language model
  4. luna-pinyin 朙月拼音 - Standard Mandarin Pinyin
  5. prelude - The default basic rime input method configuration for common rime components
  6. stroke 五筆畫 - 5 Stroke input, h,s,p,n,z represent horizontal, vertical, swipe, downwards-right and fold stroke
  7. terra-pinyin 地球拼音 - Mandarin pinyin with tones

along with this we also bundle plum, which is a package manager for rime. It is installed automatically when you emerge ibus-rime. Before we get to using the package manager, make sure that your regular user is under the rime group, as not being in it will result in a permissions error.

To add yourself to the rime group:

root # gpasswd -a <username> rime

To update your package repository:

user $ rime-install

Plum has 3 package databases, preset, extra and all. We already install the preset list by default. To install the extra list:

user $ rime-install :extra

and for the full list:

user $ rime-install :all

additionally if you don't want to install all packages from a list, or want to inspect the members of that list you can use interactive mode using the --select option

user $ rime-install --select :all

Community packages

Community packages can be installed from GitHub by providing the following argument:

user $ rime-install <user/repo>

Adding an @ character at the end also specifies a branch/tag

user $ rime-install lotem/rime-zhung@master

To install from someone's packages.conf you can use a direct link:

user $ rime-install

or if hosted on github, use the shortened version

user $ rime-install lotem/rime-forge/lotem-packages.conf

additionally, branch and tag rules are respected

user $ rime-install lotem/rime-forge@master/lotem-packages.conf

If you want to look at what community recipes are available for rime, check out this github repository


Rime has config files in the YAML format that you can edit to change the behaviour of rime. First make sure you have run

user $ rime-install

at least once

Then navigate to ~/.config/ibus/rime and create a file called default.custom.yaml. For example here is how to set a schema to terra pinyin

   ~/.config/ibus/rime/default.custom.yaml (yaml source code)
    - schema: terra_pinyin

This file overrides the default configuration, so only adding terra pinyin will make it the only enabled schema. If you don't want to override the default settings and change the defaults instead, modify ~/.config/ibus/rime/build/ibus_rime.yaml after you have run rime for the first time.

Next, to make configuration take effect, click on the Deploy/Redeploy button in ibus or restart ibus using

user $ ibus restart

By default rime displays only 5 options in the list. You can change the list size by setting "menu/page_size" manually like this:

   ~/.config/ibus/rime/default.custom.yaml (yaml source code)
  "menu/page_size": 9

If using a vertical list is not comfortable for you, you can always change to horizontal by toggling the horizontal boolean to true:

   ~/.config/ibus/rime/default.custom.yaml (yaml source code)
  horizontal: true