Best command-line distro

John G Heim jheim at
Fri Nov 14 16:46:42 UTC 2014

Debian stable shows brltty 4.4.  Vinux 4.0 has brltty 4.5.  I don't have 
a debian testing machine around to check the version. But the last time 
I tried debian testing, code named jessie, it had a lot of problems 
particularly with the character interface. Of course, if you're just 
using brltty, that probably doesn't matter.

I was going to post an answer to your original question saying that you 
were asking for something pretty difficult. A distro that specializes in 
having the latest versions of most packages is also going to have more 
problems. Usually, ubuntu is a pretty good compromise between stability 
and new  packages. If I was you, I'd give ubuntu another try. Just about 
any distro should work pretty well in character mode.

Another thing you might try is sonar.  I haven't used sonar since they 
switched to an manjero based system. But when they were basing their 
distro on ubuntu, it was excellent. They do focus on the graphical user 
environment though.

Also, I am pretty sure that brltty uses udev rules to detect your 
braille displayand start the brltty daemon. If you need a newer version 
of brltty, it may be because theyadded a new udev rule for your braille 

  Anyway, the point is that you shouldn't have to worry about which 
distro to use to get brltty started. They should all do that subject to 
the caveat above. It's the package, not the distro.

On 11/14/2014 09:12 AM, John J. Boyer wrote:
> It looks like Debian might be the best choice. However, I need brltty to
> run at boot-up, so it shows the login mesage. Is there a package for
> Debian that will set this up. I also need brltty 5.2, because 5.1 won't
> work with my Focus 40 Braille display. I don't want a graphical
> interface preloaded.
> Ubuntu 14.04 sometimes behaves strangely at the command line.
> Thanks,
> John
> On Fri, Nov 14, 2014 at 02:13:44PM +0100, Aldo wrote:
>> As far as I know, there isn't any distro that should be the "best" for
>> command-line usage; I'am a Debian user since march 2000, and Ubuntu is
>> giving me as much satisfaction used on command-line interface.
>> There aren't so much differences between shese two distros used on
>> command-line, that I may easily say taht they are quite similar and as easy
>> and accessible both.
>> The only reason why sometimes I choosed for Ubuntu instead of Debian, is
>> that there are some apps in a recent version on it; but in general I use
>> Deiban on a desktop PC, and the only difference for me is root versus sudo
>> su, taht's all!
>> Aldo.
>> On Thu, Nov 13, 2014 at 10:55:53AM -0600, John J. Boyer wrote:
>>> Which distro is best for working solely at the command line? I was using
>>> CentOS for a while, but some of the applications were out of date.
>>> Ubuntu is giving me trouble.
>>> Thanks,
>>> John
>>> --
>>> John J. Boyer; President, Chief Software Developer
>>> Abilitiessoft, Inc.
>>> Madison, Wisconsin USA
>>> Developing software for people with disabilities
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