Guide for using Dzongkha in Computer

This guide is about how to configure your computer for Dzongkha computing


All the latest GNU/Linux distros has the basic support for Dzogkha like XKB keyboard map, Dzongkha locale etc. Debian and Ubuntu even has Dzongkha font package (ttf-dzongkha, which has the Jomolhari font). Here are the steps to enable Dzogkha support in your GNU/Linux box. This guide can be used for any distro.


For Debian and Ubuntu users, install ttf-dzongkha package. This installs the font called Jomolhari which is a Tshuyig Font. For Joyig, you have to install Wangdi. For other distros, download the zipped font file. This contains five fonts, Jomolhari, Wangdi, Joyig (smaller version of Wangdi), Tashi, Uchen.

In Gnome desktop, open Nautilus file browser. In the address bar, type “fonts://” (without the quotes). This will open the fonts directory. Now copy your choice of fonts in this directory. This insall the fonts in the .fonts directory in your home directory. This method installs the font for only the perticular user. You may need to logout and login again after this.

This method installs the font for only the perticular user. To install fonts globally, do the following as root. This needs executing commands at shell:

  • mkdir /usr/share/fonts/truetype/dzongkha

  • cp <fonts> /usr/share/fonts/truetype/dzongkha/

  • fc-cache -fv

In KDE, go to KDE Control Center, select System Administration Font Installer, and add the fonts. You may need to logout and login back after this.

Download Dzongkha fonts from here

Once the font is successfully installed, you will be able to write Dzongkha text using the OpenOffice office suite, view Dzongkha web content in any pango enabled browsers like Debian Iceweasel/Firefox, Epiphany etc and chat in Dzongkha using Gaim/Pidgin chat application. Debian’s Firefox, named Iceweasel, has excellent support for rendering Dzongkha. Epiphany (Gnome’s web browser) comes with pango disabled by default. To enable :

  • Start Gconf Editor by running “gconf-editor” in the command line

  • Go to Apps Epiphany Web and click on enable_pango.


To do Dzongkha wordprocessing, presentation and spreadsheet, insall and use OpenOffice Office Suite. Most of the major distros like Debian, Fedora has preconpiled, ready-to-use OpenOffice Packages. You just have to install them using your distro’s package manager. To enable text editing, you need to add Dzongkha Keyboard Indicator.

In Gnome:

  • Right click on the upper panel and click on Add to Panel

  • Add Keyboard Indicator

  • The upper panel will now show just one keyboard, USA

  • Right click on USA , select Keyboard Preferences.

  • In Keyboard Preferences dialog, go to layout tab Add Layouts and select Bhutan from the dropdown list.

  • Now you can select between English and Dzongkha while editing by clicking on the Keyboard Indicator Icon on the upper panel.


3 responses to “Guide for using Dzongkha in Computer

  1. Hello, I’m trying to set up a Ubuntu computer to type Tibetan prayer books for some Mongolian Buddhist nuns. I have the Bhutan keyboard layout installed along with the fonts, but can find no documentation on how to use the keyboard (what key combinations are needed to write the Tibetan characters). I have found noshift and shift layouts but from the Ubuntu layout print, it appears there are two more key-combination layouts but not sure how to access them. Any help would be appreciated.

  2. Hi Jim,

    The keyboard layout documentation is given here:
    This documentation is for Dzongkha computing on windows but since the layout is same, you can refer to pages 14 to 17 of this pdf file to see what key combinations are needed to write the Tibetan Characters.
    I would also be glad to know what Tibetan prayers you are typing if you could share them with me too .

  3. Pingback: Tenzin’s Weblog » Bhutan blogs

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