Using Dzongkha Unicode in Linux

Dzongkha Linux

Dzongkha Linux is a version of the Linux operating system fully localized for Dzongkha (all menus etc. are in the Dzongkkha language) and it is available from, and supported by, the Department of Information Technology. If you want to have a fully localized version of Linux as your main operating system, obtain a copy Dzongkha Linux and installation instructions from the DIT.

The instructions below explain how to install Dzongkha on Ubuntu Linux, the most popular version of Linux for desktop use. Ubuntu Linux was designed to be easy to install and use and it also works well with Dzongkha.

Ubuntu Linux may be downloaded as a CD image from: If you have a slow Internet connection, you may request a free CD from:

Ubuntu Linux comes complete with OpenOffice, the Firefox web browser, and many other applications.

Ubuntu Linux may be installed on an existing Windows partition (on your your D:\ or C:\ drive) without re-partioning your hard disk; on an unused partion of the hard-disk alongside Windows; or as the only operating system on your computer.


The instructions below assume that you have already downlaoded and installed Ubuntu Linux on your computer.


Download and Install Dzongkha Fonts

  • Click on the icon to Download and save the Dzongkha fonts archive (
  • Go to your the folder where you downloaded the file. (In Firefox choose ToolsDownloads.)
  • Select the file (

  • Choose "Extract"
  • Next browse to the folder where you extracted the files
  • For each font double click on the font file to open it. This opens a Font Viewer window.
  • On the right there is a button, "Install Font".
  • Click on it. Wait until the button turns to greyed out "Installed".


Enable Dzongkha Keyboard

  • In the System menu select PreferencesKeyboard.
  • This will bring up a Keyboard Preferences dialg box like the one below.
  • In the Layouts tab click on the Add… button
  • Next, in the list box next to Country: select Bhutan, and then click on the Add button at the bottom right of the window
  • This will return you to the Keyboard Preferences dialog, where you may type some Dzongkha text to test the keyboard, Then click the Close button

Configure OpenOffice for Dzongkha

I. Enabling Complex Text Layout (CTL) and Dzongkha

  • Start OpenOffice Writer (word processor).
  • From the menu bar select ToolsOptionsLanguage SettingsLanguages.
  • In the dialog box under “Enhanced Language Support” enable the check box next to “Enabled for complex text layout (CTL).” Complex text layout is required to be able to work with Dzongkha fonts in OpenOffice.
OO language settings
  • In the same dialog box, under Default languages for documents for  “CTL”  select "Dzongkha" and then click on the "OK" button.

2. Setting Default Fonts for Dzongkha

From now on each font select dialog will ask you to define two fonts: one font for used for "western" text (i.e. English) and one font for complex text, "CTL" (i.e. Dzongkha).

To set the Default fonts for Dzongkha:

  • Go to: ToolsOptionsOpenOffice WriterBasic Fonts (CTL).
Basic Fonts for CTL Dialouge
  • Configure "DDC Uchen" or "Jomolhari" as your default CTL fonts. (Make sure that you have first actually installed these Dzongkha fonts which can be downloaded freelyhere.)
  • You should now be able type Dzongkha or English text within OpenOffice simply by switching between Dzongkha and English keyboards on your system.
  • Further details on using OpenOffice with Dzongkha can be found on the Configuring OpenOffice for Dzongkha page of this website.


Configure Firefox for Dzongkha

Set Character Encoding to UTF-8 Unicode


  • Start Firefox, and navigate to a Dzongkha webpage
  • In the Firefox menu go to: ViewCharacter Encoding
  • Select: "Unicode (UTF-8)"
Firefox View Character Encoding


Configure Fonts


  • Next, in the menu go to: Tools Options
Firefox Tools Options
  • In the Options dialog box choose Content
Furefox Options Content Dialog
  • In the Options Content tab, clck on the Advanced… button in the Fonts & Colours section
Font Options
  • A Fonts dialog box, like the one illustrated above, will be displayed.
  • In the drop down list box next to Fonts for: select Other Languages.
  • In the list box next to Proportional select Serif.
  • For all font options (Serif, Sans Serif and Monospace) select a suitable Dzongkha font (e.g. "DDC Uchen").
  • In the Character Encoding section, choose: "Unicode (UTF-8".
  • Finally, click on the OK button in this dialog box, and again in the Options dialog box.
    Dzongkha web pages should now display correctly as in the example below:


Installing Interface Localized for Dzongkha

If you prefer to use Dzongkha language rather thaan English language menus etc., install the Dzongkha Localization for Gnome and OpenOffice.