Update on Sept 12, 2010
For tips to install Chinese in any Debian based system, please follow this links:

I always prefer to install the OS in English and enable Chinese.  However, Chinese tool (scim) is not installed by default. Followings are my steps to enable Chinese support and typing in Ubuntu(6.04 ?)

  1. Go to System -> Administration -> Language Support
    Choose Chinese (Traditional and/or Simplified)
  2. install packages scim-chinese, scim-tables-zh, and all other dependencies
  3. $ vi /etc/X11/xinit/xinput.d/scim
    change xim input to scim 


  4. without using root, type
    $ im-switch -z <Your locale> -s scim
    your locale can be figured out by command
    $ locale | grep LANG
  5. restart your X (Ctrl-Alt Del), then Ctrl-spacebar should give you a scim toolbar

P.S. After the scim toolbar is poping up, you still need to right click the toolbar to setup what input method you would like to use.  Personally, I used Changjie3 to type Chinese, it seems the closest to the Windows version of Changjie.

P.S.  I wonder if there is easier way…