﴾!السَلامُ علَيكُم﴿
(May peace be upon you!)

This tutorial will show you how to write Arabic & Latin on GNU/Linux especially Ubuntu, Trisquel, and elementary OS so you can switch between them easily at any time. In particular, we will use built-in keyboard layout called Arabic Buckwalter beside the English US one here. They will appear as selections on system tray on your desktop panel. This way, you can write documents and have chat on the net with both Latin and Arabic letters. I take these 3 distros as example means you can practice this on any other GNU/Linux systems that also use GNOME3, MATE, and Pantheon desktops. Let's go!

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Wait, learn the basic things first!


Arabic language and Arabic typing are two different things on GNU/Linux. If you want to write Arabic, you need to enable Arabic keyboard, not Arabic language support. On the other hand, if you want you user interface to look Arabic, you enable Arabic language support, not Arabic keyboard. The settings of keyboard are available on every operating system's control panel.

1. Ubuntu


This is also applicable to: GNOME variants of Debian, Fedora, and openSUSE.

Go to System Settings > Region & Language:
  • See Input Source column
  • Click plus button ("+")
  • Click triple dot button on bottom
  • Click Others
  • Find and select Arabic Buckwalter
  • Click Add
  • It will be added as new layout under the default ones
  • It will also appears on system tray on the top panel


Results:
(LibreOffice Writer with Arabic alphabet table and top panel with Arabic Buckwalter enabled)

2. Trisquel


This is also applicable to other distros: MATE variants of Mint, Ubuntu, and Fedora.

Go to System Settings > Keyboard > Layout tab:
  • Click Add
  • Select Arabic Buckwalter
  • Click Add
  • It will be added as new keyboard layout
  • It will also appear on system tray on the bottom taskbar


Results:

(Trisquel user simply needs to click the Arabic selection on taskbar to write arabic text)




Note that Trisquel's keyboard switcher is located on bottom unlike Ubuntu's or elementary's. Other MATE based systems may be different.

3. elementary OS


This is also applicable to other distros: Fedora Pantheon.

Go to System Settings > Keyboard:
  • Click plus button ("+")
  • Find and select Arabic Buckwalter
  • Click Add
  • It will be added as new keyboard layout
  • It will also appear on top panel


Results:


(Similar to Ubuntu, elementary OS user just needs to click the top panel to switch between Arabic and Latin to type)

Everything is fortunately easy here, right? Happy working!


This article is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.


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