Testers wanted for BATS talking rescue CD

Linux for blind general discussion blinux-list at redhat.com
Mon May 15 01:13:52 UTC 2017

hello there,
I have already downloaded the iso file. I might burn it to a DVD here and try it out on this old macbook. However, I do not know if it will support reading/writing on a journaled mac filesystem. guess I will find out.


On May 14, 2017, at 4:05 PM, Linux for blind general discussion wrote:

> Hi there, Mark Peveto here.
> I'm interested in helping you test, but who exactly am I working with?  I didn't see a name attached to the message.
> Thanks.
> Mark Peveto
> Registered Linux user number 600552
> Everything happens after coffee!
> On Sun, 14 May 2017, Linux for blind general discussion wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> As some of you might remember, I posted test talking live CD images last year.
>> I got very little feedback, most of which was understandably negative. Those
>> old CD images are still available, but I'm happy to announce the third major
>> rebuild. Everything has been redone from scratch. At least in KVM, it boots
>> much faster and seems more responsive. It no longer uses systemd and doesn't
>> include Network Manager. I really, desperately need testers. I can't test
>> wireless or Braille here. I have limited hardware. What would be helpful is
>> for people to test on as many different hardware and sound setups as possible.
>> Let me know what doesn't work. Here is what you need to know:
>> 1. It's a 64-bit image only. I will produce a 32-bit image if there is enough
>> demand. It runs on x86_64 hardware. I tested it with 1 GB of memory, but it
>> should require less. The concept, idea and package lists were borrowed from
>> the Devuan minimal live CD. This image adds many more packages and is based on
>> plain vanilla Debian testing. It uses standard sysvinit. I have no plans to
>> switch to systemd. I tried systemd on the other images and ran into lots of
>> problems, including being much less responsive and not letting people login on
>> some hardware.
>> 2. It includes brltty but it might not start automatically. If Braille doesn't
>> work, try starting it manually. The version is from Debian stable to avoid the
>> systemd dependency.
>> 3. It has a lot of non-free firmware and wireless tools, so hopefully your
>> wifi should be detected. It automatically tries DHCP. It includes the standard
>> openssh server which generates new host keys at every boot for better
>> security. I haven't tested ssh login yet.
>> 4. The boot menus still need a lot of work. It does boot, but there is no
>> audible feedback. Just press Enter to start the boot process. This will be
>> fixed soon.
>> 5. It uses my 4.10.7 Speakup kernel, so hardware speech should work without
>> issues. You probably have to rmmod speakup_soft and modprobe your synth module
>> by hand. It uses standard syslinux, so there might be a way to do this at the
>> boot prompt. I'm not sure. Here are sample commands, as root:
>> rmmod speakup_soft ; modprobe speakup_ltlk
>> The login user is "bats" with no password. You can't currently login as root,
>> but sudo works as expected. If you don't have networking, try running setnet
>> or setnet.sh and follow the prompts. It can be installed to a hard drive, but
>> I highly recommend against it and I will offer no support for hard drive
>> installations. Almost all packages are from Debian testing. You should be able
>> to add and remove packages as normal. There is no security support. There are
>> almost certainly security issues. It should run from USB, virtual machines
>> like KVM and burning the .iso to a standard CD. You may run
>> "refractainstaller" if you want to try installing, but again, this is highly
>> discouraged. It's meant as a live and rescue CD, not an installable distro. It
>> includes several games and utilities, but if you know of more which should be
>> included, please shout.
>> Other than hardware, wireless and Braille testing, the biggest thing I need
>> now is a list of missing packages. I tried to include everything obvious, but
>> I'm sure your favorite tool isn't there. I have about 200 MB left to work
>> with, so please send suggestions. You can email me privately or post here. I'm
>> working on a mailing list for discussion. The list just needs to be
>> configured. Also, I'm looking for at least one co-maintainer to release
>> updates periodically with the latest packages. Please let me know if you're
>> interested.
>> Here is the download link for the .iso and SHA256 checksum:
>> http://iavit.org/~bats/
>> Thanks to iavit.org for hosting. It's called bats64 with the snapshot date.
>> Again, let me know if it doesn't work for you or if you run into problems.
>> Thanks for your feedback!
>> To email me privately about this CD image or for support options, please write
>> to bats at batsupport dot com.
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