This article describes how to set up Arabic language environment.
- Bidirectional text includes text direction support among applications. In particular, Firefox
Ctrl+Shift+Xis the only supported shortcut for switching text direction.
- Ayaspell offers Arabic spellchecking extensions for applications like LibreOffice, Firefox, and also system-wide dictionaries using AUR.
- Islamic tools: for Hijri date conversion.
- LibreOffice: set up Bidi support, then install Ayaspell dictionary from Tools > Language > More Dictionaries Online > Arabic.
- Vim still lacks support for bidi. If you're using Vim from a terminal, consider using a compatible terminal like Konsole.
- Since Vim doesn't map by default Arabic characters given by input method, commands like motion commands don't work. The current workaround is to either map it manually in vimrc or add
set keymap=arabicto vimrc and switch between the layouts via
- Other useful Vim commands include
- AUR — Collection of free Arabic fonts
- AUR — Fonts by King Fahd Glorious Quran Printing Complex in al-Madinah al-Munawwarah
- — Unicode Arabic font from SIL (Alternative for Traditional Arabic font)
- SIL AUR — Unicode Arabic font from
-   AUR — A classical Arabic typeface in Naskh style pioneered by Amiria Press. Its Latin characters are based on Crimson ( )
XKB Lam Alif problem
X keyboard layout sends Arabic ligature glyphs as a single glyph. For example, Laa+Alif ligature "لا" (U+0644, U+0627) is sent as "ﻻ" (U+FEFB), and similarly for (ﻷ، ﻵ، ﻹ). This is due to a known limitation in xkb which does not allow mapping a key to more than one character.
To solve this problem, set up a supported input method then restart X server. The following are input methods confirmed to work.
To set up input method (E.g: xim), either use
im-config -n xim if you have it installed, or manually by adding the following to your environment variables:
XIM=none XIM_PROGRAM=/bin/true XIM_ARGS= GTK_IM_MODULE=xim QT_IM_MODULE=xim SHORT_DESC="X compose table"
However, since most QT-based programs do not have this issue, it is enough to add
export GTK_IM_MODULE=xim to
AltGrkey. The default compose table is located in
Fix Arabic legibility when using Noto Fonts
The Nastaliq Urdu fonts are chosen by default for Arabic. Use the following configuration to blacklist them, ensuring the system uses a proper Arabic font.
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <!DOCTYPE fontconfig SYSTEM "urn:fontconfig:fonts.dtd"> <fontconfig> <selectfont> <rejectfont> <glob>/usr/share/fonts/noto/NotoNastaliq*</glob> </rejectfont> </selectfont> </fontconfig>