International input in xterm and emacs with Xorg

Richard Lemieux rlemieu at
Fri Feb 10 19:49:53 UTC 2017


I would need a few pointers to online documents explaining clearly the chain of 
transformations going from keycodes in Linux, to the X11 codes and then to 
whatever is used in xterm and Emacs. I have got a lot of partial information but 
I still can't use that to solve my problem.

The last time I had XFree86 running as my X11 server - something like four years 
ago, I had managed to be able to enter European accented character in all parts 
of Linux including xterm, Emacs and so on.  SCIM also worked fine on the xterm 
and Emacs with that setup. I could enter Chinese file names if I wished.

Since I migrated to Xorg, I have never managed to get SCIM to work in a Xterm or 
in Emacs and worse even just have the compose key work in Emacs.  I have been 
able to make those work intermittently but the whole capability breaks down the 
next time I reboot.

I can't recall all the things I have tried based on examples I got from forums.  
Of course I tried IBUS but that is not better than SCIM for me.

I am running Slackware.  This is what I run since I started using Linux in the 
90's. From what I read people using other distributions have see international 
input broken on they own system sometimes.

I still have a bit of hope though since everything I need to do works fine with 
Firefox and Thunderbird.  With both Firefox and Thunderbird I can use Compose to 
enter European characters and SCIM to enter Chinese.  So there must be some way 
to make it run also on Xterm and Emacs.

Some days ago I used suggestions from a formum and assigned Super_L to RALT 
using xkbcomp.  That worked the first time I did it but it no longer works???

My latest attempt was to add "clear mod4"  in .Xmodmap. That worked once but no 
longer works???

I have tried Sakura but that one has problems with my Chinese fonts so using 
Sakura as a terminal is not an answer.

I am not a develper as such but I write programs for my research.  So there are 
a lot of things I understand just very approximately on the 
Linux/X11/xterm/Emacs interconnections and that mapping between keycodes and the 
other codings used in X11, xterm and Emacs is something I can't understand I guess.

Thanks for your attention and any suggestion that would make me like Linux again.

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