Now it is very easy to enable and configure Kannada in Debian. Install the following packages using apt-get or synaptic package manager.
If you are a GNOME user then
apt-get install ttf-kannada-fonts scim-bridge-client-gtk scim-m17n
If You are KDE 4.x user then
apt-get install ttf-kannada-fonts scim-bridge-client-qt4 scim-m17n
Create a folder in your home directory with name ".xinput.d" and create a file "all_ALL" inside the folder created just now.
mkdir $HOME/.xinput.d gedit $HOME/.xinput.d/all_ALL
Copy below lines in the file all_ALL.
#file: all_ALL XIM=SCIM if [ -e /usr/bin/skim ]; then XIM_PROGRAM=" " else XIM_PROGRAM=/usr/bin/scim fi XIM_ARGS="-d" if [ -e /usr/lib/gtk-2.0/*/immodules/im-scim-bridge.so ]; then GTK_IM_MODULE=scim-bridge else GTK_IM_MODULE=xim fi if [ -e /usr/lib/qt3/plugins/inputmethods/im-scim-bridge.so -o \ -e /usr/lib/qt4/plugins/inputmethods/im-scim-bridge.so ] then QT_IM_MODULE=scim-bridge else QT_IM_MODULE=xim fi DEPENDS="scim | skim, scim-bridge-agent, scim-bridge-client-gtk | \ scim-bridge-client-qt | scim-bridge-client-qt4"
The above xinput script is shared by Ravi
Save the file and logoff. When you login to your system you will see small keyboard icon in the panel, that means all installations and configurations are successful.
How to use SCIM
Open gedit or any other text editor, click on the small keyboard icon in panel and select the required keyboard layout. Now we can use Cntrl + Space to toggle Kannada(Previously selected layout) and English. We can even create the folders/files with kannada name :)