Blind vs. mainstream distros

Linux for blind general discussion blinux-list at
Mon Apr 24 10:12:58 UTC 2017

I'm Tony Baechler. Comments below.

On 4/23/2017 3:45 PM, Linux for blind general discussion wrote:
> Nor is it mine. Which is exactly why I prefer the likes of Fedora and
> OpenSUSE over Debian or even Arch. I have installed both Fedora and OpenSUSE
> for clients, and they never have any trouble. And I'm not sure exactly what
> OpenSUSE is doing about the upgrade deal these days, but I have seen where
> Fedora is making system upgrades much easier than they have ever been in the
> past. OpenSUSE does have one important feature that I haven't seen in
> Fedora, Debian or Arch though, and that is the YAST control panel. It offers
> graphical configuration tools to do just about everything imaginable on the
> system, so people who are not power users can also perform system
> maintenance far more easily. I don't believe they intend to remove any of
> these tools any time soon, making it perhaps even better for the average
> basic user even than Fedora. And yes, most if not all these tools are fully
> accessible to the screen reader, or at least they were about 2 years ago
> when I installed it last, and that has most likely improved since then.

First, Debian has several graphical control panels, depending on your needs. 
I prefer the command line and can't comment on them. Ubuntu has them also. 
What you haven't addressed or I missed it is Red Hat the company. Doesn't it 
bother you that they have mostly ignored accessibility? I don't run it here 
and I wouldn't consider it because there is no console speech. Apparently 
Speakup is broken in the Fedora kernel. I still remember going to their ftp 
site and being excited to find an accessibility directory. In it was a 
README telling me to go to So much for accessibility I 
guess. I wouldn't use Fedora just on principle. Before you tell me that you 
or a nonprofit can work with them to make it happen, let's recall that Red 
Hat is one of the oldest Linux companies and hasn't managed full 
accessibility yet.

> Regarding upgrades requiring skill, I think Fedora has done the best job
> thus far making each system upgrade as painless as possible for anyone to
> achieve, and even allowing the user to skip if desired. So if Debian doesn't
> provide such an option, or if the end user has to fiddle around in
> /etc/apt/sources.list or to reinstall the OS even once every two years, then
> the upgrade process is not for the average user and should be avoided.

Umm, where do you get this? I installed Debian testing in 2009 and haven't 
had to reinstall yet. The only time I change sources.list is when there is a 
new mirror or CDN like or to add a repo like deb-multimedia. 
My dad came from Windows. He didn't like DOS and wants nothing to do with 
the command line. He has no problem upgrading his Ubuntu MATE system. He ran 
into problems with serious Ubuntu bugs, but once he did a fresh install of 
16.04 LTS, the problems went away. His machine has gone for months without a 
reboot. All you have to do is click to install updates. The only time you 
have to restart is for a new kernel. I can't comment on Fedora, but unless 
it updates automatically, it can't get much easier. I'm opposed to automatic 
updates on principle. You can skip a Ubuntu release if you want, or you run 
the LTS release with the accessibility PPA and get the latest Orca etc.

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