XIM, short for X Input Method, is the method by which XFree86 allows for international input. Applications which support the xim can be used in conjunction with an xim server to input Japanese, Chinese, Korean, etc text without too much user intervention. kinput2 is one of the more frequently used xim servers, and can be used with a canna or freewnn backend for translation of the romaji text into the necessary international script. While xim servers do no
t require the system's locale to be changed, the xim process itself must be run with the target locale set in the LC_CTYPE variable (i.e, LC_CTYPE=ja_JP kinput2 -canna &). Switching in and out of the xim input mode is usually done with a
keycombo, such as ctrl-o or shift-space, and can be done on the fly.