How to write in Chinese/Japanese/Korean in openSUSE

I don’t know any Korean, but that lan­guage is the “K” part of CJK when we talk about East Asian lan­guage sup­port in Linux. I have used three input meth­ods thus far for CJK lan­guages in Linux, with SCIM when I used Ubuntu, until the trans­ition­ing to Ibus for my Kubuntu laptop, to the cur­rent nearly unpro­nounce­able Fcitx [ˈfaɪtɪks] in openSUSE.

Since it took me a good two days to fig­ure out how Fcitx works, I decided to write this art­icle for future ref­er­ence. Do note that you can sum­mon any of the applic­a­tions men­tioned here with KRun­ner, the semantic desktop launcher-cum-do-it-all tool for KDE. Default short-cut is Alt-F2.Pronounced Faitiks.

  1. If you have installed other CJK input soft­ware, for example Ibus and Scim, unin­stall them.
  2. Make sure the Fcitx pack­age is installed using Soft­ware Management
  3. In YaST, select Lan­guage and choose the lan­guages you wish to use under Sec­ond­ary Lan­guages then click OK..
  4. Make sure the requis­ite pack­ages for the lan­guages you wish to use is also installed, for example
    • fcitx-anthy for Japanese
    • fcitx-googlepinyin for Chinese
  5. Fcitx should launch auto­mat­ic­ally with openSUSE, it will be the key­board icon in the panel. Right-click on it and choose Con­fig­ure.
  6. In Input Method, make sure to un-check Only Chow Cur­rent Lan­guage. I was puzz­ling over where my CJK lan­guages were hid­ing until I stumbled into this button.
  7. Select the input meth­ods for your respect­ful lan­guages and click the right arrow. As you can see in the screen­shot provided, I chose Anthy and Google Pinyin.
    • The default key for chan­ging between input meth­ods is Ctrl+Space. You can change this in Global Con­fig.
    • Appear­ance allows you to change the font type (I went with Oxy­gen rather than the default Sans font).
  8. Click OK and you are now set to start writing!

John Oliver revisits Mass Surveillance.

I recently led a dis­cus­sion in two classes for a friend of mine and the main topic of debate was mass sur­veil­lance. I wondered if using dick examples would have been more effective?


Resizing an Encrypted LVM Partition

A prob­lem I did not expect to crop up using the guided par­ti­tion­ing setup in openSUSE is that the default set­tings do not appear to use the entire phys­ical hard disk. I am cur­rently exper­i­ment­ing with the use of a fully encryp­ted set-up from top to bot­tom for my desktop and that of course meant stand­ard par­ti­tion­ing routines would no longer apply.

In this instance, I found myself with a 50 GB /home and 40GB / par­ti­tion on a 240 GB SSD drive. Not ideal.

Encrypted drives.As you can see from the pic­ture above, I have 232.49 GB in /dev/sda1. Unlock­ing and mount­ing this par­ti­tion gives me /dev/system, under which are

  • /dev/system/home at 50GB
  • /dev/system/root at 40 GB
  • /dev/system/swap at 2 GB

The thing which kept me from ini­tially mount­ing my home and root par­ti­tions in the live CD envir­on­ment was that LVMs were used for the men­tioned “par­ti­tions”, which are tech­nic­ally now called volumes. LVM volumes are fea­tures which enable easy man­age­ment of par­ti­tions in a Linux sys­tem, which I am only begin­ning to under­stand. This also means the steps I provide here is more of a ref­er­ence to my par­tic­u­lar setup, that is work­ing as expec­ted, but I lack the know­ledge and expert­ise to tell you whether doing it on your sys­tem would yield the same expec­ted outcome.

As usual, backup everything before trying.

First, I booted up my com­puter with the openSUSE live CD image, and launched Kon­sole. Then I decryp­ted my hard drive at /dev/sda2 with

cryptsetup /dev/sda2 luks

At this stage, /dev/system had been moun­ted, but I could not see the volumes in the par­ti­tion. With the help of nrick­ert in the openSUSE for­ums, I then pro­ceeded to make the LVM volumes access­ible with

vgchange -a y

Unex­pec­tedly, another error was thrown up by the system,

$ WARNING: lvmetad is running but disabled. Restart lvmetad before enabling it!

But it did not stop /home, /, and swap from being made avail­able in the openSUSE par­ti­tioner. The next step was as easy as right-clicking at the /home par­ti­tion and set­ting it to the max­imum pos­sible size. And with that:

Yes!As an aside, I wish to thank the openSUSE com­munity mem­bers who provided spe­cific guid­ance and help. To the one per­son who basic­ally insul­ted me and told me to RTFM, while sim­ul­tan­eously admit­ting to know­ing noth­ing about using LVMs — your actions nearly made me swear off using openSUSE for life. I am already miss­ing the wel­com­ing, help­ful atmo­sphere of the Ubuntu/Kubuntu com­munity, where such state­ments from any mem­ber is frowned upon. No prizes for guess­ing which dis­tro I would install for Linux newbies.

But I guess that is the cul­tural dif­fer­ence between the *buntu and other dis­tros if such beha­viour is con­sidered acceptable.


Running Programs from the Home Folder in Linux

How long I have come from the bumbling idiot who ran Windows ME on the same computer for 8 straight years.I recently fin­ished the build for my ulti­mate Linux rig, and am work­ing on a truly monu­mental doc­u­ment­a­tion of the hard­ware and con­fig­ur­a­tions to get it work­ing just right. In fact, as of writ­ing, it is still largely a work-in-progress on the oper­at­ing sys­tem con­fig­ur­a­tion side. As I am now using openSUSE rather than the more famil­iar Kubuntu for my desktop, I am learn­ing to do things in a more distro-agnostic fashion.

Mean­while, to keep my writ­ing skills from atro­phy­ing any fur­ther (a danger to be avoided at all cost in gradu­ate school). I will be writ­ing short snip­pets of tips and tricks I have learnt while run­ning a KDE desktop nearly exclus­ively since 2013. The first of these is a prob­lem I have returned to search­ing again and again simply because I suf­fer an amne­siac attack after get­ting things run­ning. They have ranged from edit­ing paths to other eso­teric meth­ods. I have how­ever settled on this full-proof method to run­ning any applic­a­tion down­loaded and extrac­ted to my home folder. These pack­ages are usu­ally not found in the soft­ware repos­it­or­ies, or I may just simply wish for more expli­cit con­trol over the ver­sions. Either way, some­times you are only provided with tar­balls of packages.

In this example, I will use the ver­sat­ile Zotero research cita­tion man­ager as an example of a soft­ware you may use, but find it cum­ber­some to click through your file man­ager to run it. You can sub­sti­tute Zotero with any other soft­ware down­loaded as a com­pressed pack­age. I also real­ise that the bin folder in the Home folder can be used to add execut­able pro­grams to the oper­at­ing system’s path, but it has always been a hassle for me to get it run­ning cor­rectly, and at least using this method, I do know how everything works.

  1. Extract the Zotero com­pressed file to any­where. I per­son­ally set ~/bin as my pre­ferred folder for dump­ing these programs.
  2. After prop­erly set­ting up Zotero, note down the path to the execut­able. In this instance, it appears that Zotero has two execut­ables, one simply named zotero and a bash script file named You should be fine run­ning either one, though in this instance I chose to use the script file.
  3. In the ter­minal, I cre­ated an execut­able script in /usr/bin point­ing towards Since I wish to run the pro­gram by typ­ing its name, I named the file zotero.
    1. cd /usr/bin
    2. sudo vim zotero
  4. I then entered the fol­low­ing script in vim.


  5. After sav­ing, I made it an execut­able file.
    1. chmod +x zotero
  6. Try typ­ing “zot” in the ter­minal and press­ing the Tab key. If it auto­com­pletes, press enter and Zotero should run.

Using this fool­proof method, any pro­gram should run without issue in Linux, as long as all pro­gram depend­en­cies have been accoun­ted for. If not, that’s why we use the bor­ing pack­ages in the repos­it­or­ies my friend. Depend­ency issues can degrade very quickly into a term called Depend­ency Hell.


Naomi Klein: This Changes Everything

Let’s talk cli­mate change, and how we are not doing enough to stop Canada from des­troy­ing forests and com­munit­ies, to mine a dirty, and unne­ces­sary resource which can be quite eas­ily sub­sti­tuted with renew­able energy.





Under the Dome, 柴静。

柴静雾霾调查:穹顶之下 is the most rel­ev­ant envir­on­mental doc­u­ment­ary for the world since Cowspir­acy. Under the Dome is sim­ilar to An Incon­veni­ent Truth, except Chai Jing was an actual invest­ig­at­ive reporter and news anchor, in China.

It would have been so much fun to live blog this with my friends, or rather me live blog­ging while the gang uses Face­book. There were so many “holy fuck” moments though the biggest one can prob­ably be reserved for the end of the doc­u­ment­ary, with an actual slide with “Cor­rup­tion” in the title with uncensored people’s faces dis­played long enough for me to fear next month’s news art­icle will be how Chai Jing was found dead while walk­ing down the street.

The present­a­tion of the prob­lem of pol­lu­tion, the use of coal, lax envir­on­mental reg­u­la­tion, and inces­tu­ous rela­tion­ship between the fossil fuel industry and reg­u­lat­ory bod­ies was made with an almost naus­eat­ing amount of sci­entific and first-hand data. Almost naus­eat­ing not by volume, but by the actual naus­eat­ing feel­ing from see­ing how people in power don’t give a fly­ing toss about any one of us.

The con­clu­sion was simple, and Chai Jing led by example. If you want to see change, you must make your voice heard. Even in the total­it­arian state of China, she was able to get the local con­struc­tion yard to cover up their piles of sand because she talked to the man­aged while hold­ing a cam­era phone, and used exist­ing laws to force a res­taur­ant to install smoke filters.

Me, I am already a vegan. Don’t own a car, and com­mute by bik­ing and tak­ing pub­lic transport.

Your turn.




Ta-Nehisi Coates on the Ferguson Report

I cur­rently live in the white major­ity city of Lin­coln, Neb­raska, and the second most obvi­ous minor­ity group here appear to be res­id­ents of Viet­namese des­cent. I am lucky enough to find myself in an envir­on­ment so pro­gress­ive, I get responses to email peti­tions sent in my name to the state gov­ern­ment. Gran­ted, this is still a state where the imme­di­ate knee jerk reac­tion to the courts strik­ing down the attro­cious same-sex mar­riage law ban was to imme­di­ately appeal the dicision.

So being in a coun­try that pur­portedly treats all its cit­izens equally on paper is rather dif­fer­ent in real­ity. In that sense, I can at least say Malay­sian politi­cians are hon­est about their racism, amongst other proclivities.

Still, some choice pick­ings from the Fer­guson Report as sum­mar­ised by Ta-Nehisi Coates may be of some value to us no mat­ter where we live, as these state­ments are unfor­tu­nately as com­mon across national bound­ar­ies as the phylo­gen­et­ic­ally con­served trait for hav­ing hair while being a mammal.

Per­sonal respons­ib­il­ity” is only for black people.

Sev­eral Fer­guson offi­cials told us dur­ing our invest­ig­a­tion that it is a lack of “per­sonal respons­ib­il­ity” among African-American mem­bers of the Fer­guson com­munity that causes African Amer­ic­ans to exper­i­ence dis­pro­por­tion­ate harm under Ferguson’s approach to law enforce­ment. Our invest­ig­a­tion sug­gests that this explan­a­tion is at odd with the facts.

White people call it privilege.

In August 2013, an FPD patrol super­visor wrote an email entitled “Oops” to the Pro­sec­ut­ing Attor­ney regard­ing a ticket his rel­at­ive received in another muni­cip­al­ity for trav­el­ing 59 miles per hour in a 40 miles-per-hour zone, not­ing “[h]aving it dis­missed would be a bless­ing.” The Pro­sec­ut­ing Attor­ney respon­ded that the pro­sec­utor of that other muni­cip­al­ity prom­ised to nolle pros the ticket. The super­visor respon­ded with appre­ci­ation, not­ing that the dis­missal “[c]ouldn’t have come at a bet­ter time.”

Police officers are racist thugs.

We spoke with one African-American man who, in August 2014, had an argu­ment in his apart­ment to which FPD officers respon­ded, and was imme­di­ately pulled out of the apart­ment by force. After telling the officer, “you don’t have a reason to lock me up,” he claims the officer respon­ded: “N*****, I can find some­thing to lock you up on.” When the man respon­ded, “good luck with that,” the officer slammed his face into the wall, and after the man fell to the floor, the officer said, “don’t pass out motherf****r because I’m not car­ry­ing you to my car.”

Check out the full piece if you are in the mood for fig­ur­ing out what it is like to live in con­stant dis­crim­in­a­tion from the law, espe­cially if you live under the priv­ilege of skin colour.