IBUS is the keyboard input method for the nix OS, or for simple, you can call it the capable input method for Linux operating systems. More exactly it is called the keyboard input mothod for the Linux-like OS's.
The IBUS is usually used to input the languages that have complex writing systems such as Chinese, Japanese, Korea, Vietnamese …
In staring my learning of the Hindi language recently, I found that my PC should be able to type the Hindi language so that I could type the Hindi language (Devanagari letters), I had to install Hindi language keyboard input as you can see step by step below.
1. Installing the IBUS in Linux Mint
I use English version of Linux Mint 17.2 for my pc. The IBUS is not installed by default, so in order to use IBUS you should first install the IBUS by using either the Linux Package Manager, or if you used to use the terminal, you can install directly at terminal window.
a. Synaptic Package Manager: is a conveniect gate to the vast softwares storage of the Linux world. In Mint 17 you can see when you click Administration menu. Click at the Synaptic Package Manager. In the new software pop-up windows (see picture) search for the IBUS and install it. Since Hindi use language software in m17n, you select IBUS m17n to use the fonts in this international language package.
b. Install by using the terminal windows: Click the terminal windows (under Neccessories or its shortcut in the Lint desktop menu bar). In the windows, you input the following commands,
sudo apt-get install IBUS m17n
It asks you to input your password before the install process starts. Wait until it completes then start the next step.
2. Select the IBUS input method
a. Although you have installed the IBUS but it cannot be used until you change some settings in the IBUS program. First go to the Mint's Preferences menu and then select the Input Method menu, then select the IBUS as your input (see below picture)
b. Now close this windows, and also from the Preferences menu, select Keyboard Input Methods. A new window appear, you can see three tables in the upper of the widows. Select the Input Methos table. If you have not select any other IBUS input method before, you can see a blank space under this table, but in the picture illustrated here you can see 3 input methods:
Now please click to the Select an input method. There are some languages appear for your choice, but there will not be Hindi there. You have to click Show all input methods to look for if the Hindi language is there or not. If it can be seen, select Hindi then quick the application and restart you PC. In case there's not Hindi, you have to close all these applications then restart your PC, then follow these step described in 2.b until you complete this, then restart you PC. The new input method selection should appear at the right of the panel in the bottom of the screen.
Now every time you use your PC to input something you can switch between the input methods you have installed, at least the English put method (installed when IBUS together with the new Hindi language) and the new Hindi input method. You can switch from this one to the other easily by press Ctrl+Space bar (default keys, but you can change this in the General table in the last step at the picture above), or by clicking your mouse on the IBUS input symbol. If you are typing in English, then each time you press ctrl + space, the language will swicth to Hindi and vice versa.
3. Chose a Hindi keyboard layouts
Although the English keyboard is very common in any country in the world, but when it is used in other countries, a lots of keyboard layouts are introduced to solve the many problems arisen due to many peculiar uses for writing the languages: there may be many more vowels and consonants, or many diacritic marks are used… These can be arranged in different ways by different groups of software companies for the same language. Even Indian users sometimes have trouble in this matter, so it is usually difficult for a foreigner to select the suitable keyboard to use. However in my experience as a foreigner to Hindi, I select the Hindi Itrans (m17n) keyboard layout. The reason is very simple: you type the same Hindi sound as the English keyboard layout: अ (vowel a in Hindi) then just type corresponding a key. Of course there are some extra marks you have to know how to input it, and the learning of these marks is very easily.
So in this short guide I think you can install for yourself the Hindi language and set up the keyboard to type Hindi. This is your initial step to learn Hindi, a rich language spoken by hundred of million of people that worship Buddha religion; a civilization that profoundly affects many countries and its similar writing system can be seen in many nearly countries as Mianma, Thailand, Lao… India is in fact a growing nation economically and politically.
4. And Finally Some Remarks on Hindi
If you know some of European languages, you will see that Hindi grammatical features such as tense, person, genders or sentence order like European languages and other East Asian languages. Hindi has sentence order as subject – object- verb simlar to Burmese, Germany, Japanese, Mongolia… Hindi verbs agree with the subject and gender, and has tense forms.
For the writing system, Hindi uses Devanagari, a letter originated from Sanscrit and Brahma
(Remarks: If you don't have a Hindi keyboard, you can type a Devanagari letter by holding down the shift and control keys while typing “u” and the hex values of the Unicode character you wish to enter. Ex: the vowel i can be produced by code 093F as you can see here ि . The Devanagari unicode table can be seen at this link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devanagari)