Is ibus-typing-booster available in Ubuntu 20.04?

IBus supports an additional package called “ibus-typing-booster”.
This helps you type faster with word suggestions and more, just like on phones.

Here is the documentation, with reference to Ubuntu 16.04,

I could not figure out how to use in Ubuntu 20.04.
I could not find any “booster” keyboard layout in the control panel.

If someone can share a hint, I’ld be grateful!

You need to install the thing to be able to use it, and it looks like nobody has packaged it for Debian/Ubuntu.

So yes, you can probably use it on Ubuntu 20.04, but you need to build it from source.

This makes me a little curious. The project seems to be well maintained. Maybe I will look at creating a Debian/Ubuntu package.


I have uploaded a wip version of ibus-typing-booster to this PPA:

I installed it and played around a bit, and it seems to do its job well. I will probably propose it for Debian, but it would be great if a few users could test and provide feedback.

P.S. Don’t install that package on an earlier Ubuntu version than 20.04. I don’t think that would work.



I installed the package on a clean Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. It pulls in the following packages as well,

$ LANG=en_US.UTF-8 sudo apt install ibus-typing-booster
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
The following packages were automatically installed and are no longer required:
  libinih1 linux-modules-extra-5.4.0-21-generic ubuntu-system-service
Use 'sudo apt autoremove' to remove them.
The following additional packages will be installed:
  libm17n-0 libotf0 m17n-db python3-enchant
Suggested packages:
  m17n-docs gawk
The following NEW packages will be installed:
  ibus-typing-booster libm17n-0 libotf0 m17n-db python3-enchant
0 upgraded, 5 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Need to get 7,225 kB of archives.
After this operation, 82.6 MB of additional disk space will be used.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n] 

You have also packaged the emoji-picker, which is a tool to easily select emoji characters.
When running it, you get the following warnings, which are not a packaging issue.

$ emoji-picker 
/usr/share/ibus-typing-booster/engine/ DeprecationWarning: bind_textdomain_codeset() is deprecated
  gettext.bind_textdomain_codeset(DOMAINNAME, "UTF-8")
/usr/share/ibus-typing-booster/engine/ DeprecationWarning: Gtk.Window.set_wmclass is deprecated
  self.set_wmclass('emoji-picker', 'Emoji Picker')

To activate the Typing Booster, you need to add the layout Other (Typing Booster).

I have tested the Typing Booster over the English (US) layout and it worked with the default keybindings (of the Typing Booster).

I also tested the Typing Booster over the Greek layout and the default keybindings did not work. Specifically, when I was shown several candidates and I wanted to commit the first candidate, pressing F1 did not commit the first candidate. Considering that this functionality worked for the English (US) layout, it is a problem with Typing Booster+Greek layout and not a packaging issue.

I did not check the speech recognition feature (over Google Cloud Speech-to-Text). The other dependencies are available (python3-pyaudio, and google-cloud-speech through pip install), so it should work.

Overall, I did not find any issue to fix with the packaging of Typing Booster.

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Thanks for the review and tests, @simosx, much appreciated! Myself tested it with Swedish, and for that language it worked fine.

As regards emoji-picker, my understanding is that it’s not meant to be run independently. When using Typing Booster, and if you type for instance :-, you are offered a bunch of smileys. But by running it from terminal, you revealed that deprecated code. Nice catch!

It would be great if you could report your observations, most importantly the issues with using the tool for Greek, in the issue tracker.

For the record I have proposed it for Debian and it’s currently in Debian’s NEW queue.

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Thanks, I posted a question on the issue tracker,

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Mike Faber (ibus-typing-booster) managed to replicate the issue and posted a fix.

He has not made a new release yet with this fix yet. I suppose you would rather see a new release before updating the package?

There is a new release, 2.9.0,
It has the latest fix to work on multiple keyboard layouts, when used in X.Org (has been working fine in Wayland earlier).

I uploaded the new version to the PPA.


I just downloaded the latest version from the PPA and just wanted to chime in to say, that it works great! Thank you for putting this together @gunnarhj :sparkles:


@jayjayjpg: You’re welcome. The thought is that it should be an official package in Debian/Ubuntu, but it has waited in Debian’s NEW queue for 7 weeks now without anybody looking at it, which blocks me from proceeding.

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Typing Booster is now packaged for Debian/Ubuntu, and the PPA mentioned above, which was used for testing, is empty.

The application is available in all the supported Ubuntu releases. It can be installed from software management tools such as GNOME Software or Discover, or - of course - via the terminal:

sudo apt install ibus-typing-booster

Typing Booster is an IBus input method. Usually you think of input methods as something Chinese and Japanese users need to input their characters. In the case of Typing Booster it’s basically the other way around: It supports most languages except Chinese and Japanese.

To get started with Typing Booster, and assuming standard Ubuntu, follow these steps when you have installed the package:

  • Log out and log in again

  • Open Settings -> Region & Language

  • Click the + button under Input Sources, navigate to the window for “Other” sources, search for typing, and add Other (Typing Booster).

  • Switch to Other (Typing Booster) via the layout indicator in the top bar.

  • Click the layout indicator again, select Setup, and add your language.

  • Have fun!


Thanks, @gunnarhj, for the extra effort you took to ensure this package is available not only in Groovy, but also in the previous supported Ubuntu releases. Kudos!

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Thanks @gunnarhj!

Blog post about typing booster at
I’ll need to update this regarding the change with the repositories.

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Didn’t know about that blog post. Nice!