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Dasher Version 4.11

Build Status:

Windows: Build status - Linux: Build Status - Java: CircleCI Build Status

Dasher Version 4.11

Dasher is a zooming predictive text entry system, designed for situations where keyboard input is impractical (for instance, accessibility or PDAs). It is usable with highly limited amounts of physical input while still allowing high rates of text entry.

Dasher is Free software released under the GPL. Further documentation may be found in the Doc/ subdirectory


Dasher makes use of the following third party software (note that this list is potentially inaccurate or incomplete - please send any corrections to '


  • The Expat XML parser (required)

Linux (see INSTALL.Linux for build time requirements):

  • GTK+ (2.6 or greater) (required)
  • GNOME (optional, but highly recommended)
  • Libcanna (optional, for Hiragana to Kanji conversion)

MS Windows:

  • MS Speech API (optional)
  • MS Table API (optional - required for tablet start/stop mode)

MS Windows CE:

  • (not sure - if anyone knows then please fill this in)

Platform Specific Notes

  • Solaris: Dasher has been tested on Solaris 10. You will need to upgrade to gnome-doc-utils 0.3.2 to install the documentation, which in turn will require libxml 2.6.12 and libxslt 1.1.8. These packages are not required to run dasher once it is built.

There have been some issues with the gthread-2.0 pkgconfig file including compiler flags which are not understood by the compiler. You may need to shadow this file in another directory with these flags removed.

GNU make (gmake) must be used if building gnome documentation.

  • Darwin / OS-X: The native UI in the macos directory is badly out of date and will almost definitely require considerable effort to build. We do not currently have the resources to maintain this port, but if you are interested in contributing then let us know ( The GTK2 front end should build on Darwin with minimal changes, and with a recent enough version of GTK will not require the X11 server.

Installation Instructions

Please see the file INSTALL. for details on how to build and install Dasher from source on your host system.

Font Support

Dasher includes some alphabets which require fonts that you probably don't have installed; for example, for the International Phonetic Alphabet, Korean and Hiragana (Japanese). We aren't legally allowed to distribute a font for the IPA, but you can download one yourself from:

Kanji Entry

As of Dasher 3.99.0, experimental support for Japanese Kanji entry by Hiragana conversion. To build Dasher with this enabled on Linux, you need the libcanna conversion library. You also need to be able to access a canna conversion server, which can be on the local machine or over a network. Please note that Dasher will not start a canna server if none is running - you must do so manually before running Dasher. Please see the Canna documentation for more details.

Kanji conversion in Microsoft Windows is via the IME API, which is part of Windows XP and Asian builds of earlier Windows versions. Support for Kanji conversion in Dasher under Windows is still very much under development, so please take care when trying it out. In particular, Dasher will crash if you try to enable Kanji conversion on a machine which does not have Japanese localisation installed.

To use Kanji conversion in Dasher, you must select 'Japanese Canna' from the 'Alphabet' section of the preferences dialogue, and the Japanese language model from the 'Prediction' section.

Support and Feedback

Please file any bug reports in the GNOME Bugzilla system:

using the 'dasher' package name. We also appreciate general feedback - please send any comments to ''.

You can find the Dasher website at:

Thank you for trying Dasher,

The Dasher Team

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