Just as foreign languages are useful in everyday life, so too are they useful in pentesting and researching methods online; admittedly, some of the best information I have gotten on programming, pentesting and background has been through Baidu and Naver. Furthermore, since I find myself more and more glued to my backtrack-installed netbook, I need find myself in need of multilingual support to communicate with friends, take notes, etc. So, for all these reason, I decided to setup my Backtrack 5 netbook with language support for Chinese and Korean -- the two language I speak -- while keeping American English -- my mother tongue -- as the system language.
I am publishing these directions because I was unable to find a good tutorial on how setup multilingual support for these particular languages (or any others, for that matter). I hope these instructions are useful to someone else and while they are tailored to East Asian languages, they could easily be adjusted to use with another language. If you have any questions or difficulties, don't be afraid to ask!
To use a second (or third) language in Backtrack 5 with a non-English keyboard, there are two parts to the setup: configuring input and output, respectively.
To support output for currently non-supported languages, you should begin by opening your terminal and keying in:
This will install the language-selector-qt package that will allow you to install support for other languages. Once the installation is complete, you should go to the Application Launcher Menu and navigate to Settings > System Settings. Within that menu continue to the Local menu. Inside the Local menu you will notice there is a space for languages; there should be one already listed in the menu -- for me it was American English.
apt-get install language-selector-qt
Now at the bottom, there are three buttons, select "Install a New Language". Select the language you want to install and click "Install".
NOTE: Installation might be relatively slow and seem like the machine is hanging; just be patient.
Now when you have received the dialogue box informing you the installation is complete, you can add the language by selecting the language in the "Add Language" drop-down menu.
NOTE: When you select a new language, the new language will automatically become the system language. I assume this isn't a problem; if you are installing the language you should be able to read it. However, if you can't, just move the language you want to be the system language up to the top of the list via the arrows on the left.
There you are; any newly opened windows should have read-only language support now. Part one is complete. Now on to part two: input.
For your computer to support input for a non-English keyboard you must install a framework which can support a multilingual input method (IM). Since both of my languages are East Asian languages, the Intelligent Input Bus or IBUS, as it's known, was my best bet. For my particular circumstance, having BOTH Chinese and Korean, the best method is to first install Chinese language support via SCIM Pinyin because it includes the IBUS framework. After that it's just a matter of enabling a Hangul keyboard and Korean language support basically comes along for the ride. So first, assuming you need Chinese language support, enter the following line in terminal:
apt-get install scim-qtimm im-switch scim-pinyin
NOTE: If you do not want Chinese language do not use this package! For example, if your only installing Korean, you can get away with only installing the IBUS framework; SCIM Pinyin has a lot of other pieces that are unnecessary if you don't type in Chinese. Therefore you only need a simple:
apt-get install ibus
Once the package has successfully installed you must set it up. Although the Pinyin setup contains a myriad of options on it's own, the setup needed here has to do with the IBUS framework. Therefore, you should navigate to the Application Launcher Menu > Settings > IBUS Preferences. On clicking the computer will kindly inform you that the IBUS daemon isn't started and then give you the option of starting it. Start it. Now that the IBUS daemon is started the preferences GUI should appear on the screen. If not, open it by right-clicking on the IBUS icon on the task bar and selecting preferences.
Now, once inside the preferences GUI, click the "Input Method" tab on the top. You can now select your input method from the drop-down menu inside; it will contain all the languages you initiated support for in part one. Here, for my particular setup, I select Chinese > Pinyin and Korean > Hangul, adding each one by clicking the +Add button on the right. There you go, any newly opened programs will have both Chinese and Korean input support via IBUS which can be activated by default by pressing "Ctrl + Space" on the keyboard and toggled via "Alt + Left Shift".
Lastly, to test this, open any text editor (such as KeepNote) and try it out:
There you have it. Your Backtrack 5 installed computer now has support for multiple languages; enjoy.