VarnamIME for macOS

Easily type Indian languages on macOS using Varnam transliteration engine.

Built at FOSSUnited’s FOSSHack21.

This project is a hard-fork of lipika-ime. Changes made:

Lipika & Varnam is very different in their handling of transliteration. Both are incompatible with each other. Lipika is a good project to hack on to make your IME, it has a settings window, IME and installer. But it’s difficult to get started. This IME removes many complicated code from it and tries to make it easier with improved documentation as well.

There aren’t many documentation on how to make IMEs for macOS, especially in English. Getting started with XCode is also tricky for beginners. Setting up Lipika was also difficult.

Resources that helped in making IME on macOS (ordered by most important to the least):


Download VarnamIME.pkg installer from Releases. Double click to open the installer. You might need to explicitly allow installer to run from security settings.

After installation, you need to codesign manually to run it:

sudo codesign --force --deep --sign - /Library/Input\ Methods/
sudo codesign --force --deep --sign - /Applications/
/Library/Input\ Methods/ -import # Import words
open /Library/Input\ Methods/ # Run IME

This will get fixed once an Apple Developer account is purchased and the apps are signed with an official certificate.

After this, VarnamIME will be running in the background and you can switch to it from the system tray:

If the installation didn’t enable IME by default, try this:

See a demo of how Varnam works:


  • Make sure XCode is installed
  • Clone and do git submodule update --init
  • cd Installation && ./build
  • Run the newly built VarnamIME.pkg installer


Copyright (C) 2018 Ranganath Atreya

Copyright (C) 2021 Subin Siby

This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU 
General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 3 of the License, 
or (at your option) any later version.

This program comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY; see LICENSE file.


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