Introduction and question Linux

Linux for blind general discussion blinux-list at
Sat Nov 25 14:43:02 UTC 2017

By the way, blind don't have a double meaning in french like in
english, are you impaired (low vision), colorblind or blind (no

What accessibility softwares and hardwares do you use ?

For email you should be fine with command-line tools, for facebook
there's a limited command line tool, pidgin with purple facebook for
the chat only and link in a web browser usually do
well, web browsing should be fine but like you know yet it vary from a
website to another and we barely can fix that mess, watching videos
could be improved by command-line seem akward but mpv or vlc and
youtube-dl allow to grab or embed video in your media player, for word
and excel I suppose that Libre office have some accessibility but they
won't be on par with Microsoft office, I propose to save in open
formats since others suites could read them without issues and it will
weaken Microsoft Office monopoly in the process and that could be a
good thing.

Command-line tools should be blazing fast even on old hardware but for
a graphical desktop expect that some are a bit heavy and some apps
being heavy while Orca using a lot the hardware, it could still have

Like said, for now it's not perfect but I know in real life a blind
programmer and online I came around the Sonar Linux developper so it
is at least usable to some point but both work to fix things up, I
will probably help also soon being a major Linux community manager but
it's hard to work everything alone while having a busy life and many
projects running ...

All my wishes, may the source be with you Linarian !!! ;)

2017-11-25 9:26 UTC−05:00, michael caron couturier <spikemcc at>:
> 1. Is it possible?
> Yes
> 2. Is the accessibility ok?
> Under Windows and Mac but depending of how you use it, it could have some
> gains.
> 3. Is it correct that Ubuntu mate is the best system for us?
> On Linux, there's no best, just the tool fit for you but yes Ubuntu
> Mate is told to a bellow the average accessibility for a distribution
> not focused on accessibility.
> 4. How do I make a usb stick to reboot my Mac with Linux?
> You could burn the iso or use a tool like Etcher for the live usb but
> I can't tell about the accessibility of it, not a mac user, for
> booting it, I can't tell the process on Mac hardware.
> 5. When I restart after I am in Linux, does my Mac react normal again
> after using Linux?
> Depend, you should be able to test it as a live usb but if you try to
> install after, you have load of things to have in mind, like having a
> proper backup and the process on Mac hardware is probably a little bit
> different.
> 2017-11-25 9:07 UTC−05:00, Linux for blind general discussion
> <blinux-list at>:
>>> I would like to make the switch to Linux.
>>> My questions are:
>>> 1. Is it possible?
>> Yes! plenty of people do.  I've run Linux full-time as my desktop for
>> about a 15 years, and a mix of Windows & Linux before that.  I've
>> recently added some FreeBSD and OpenBSD into the mix for fun.
>>> 2. Is the accessibility ok?
>> There are plenty here who seem to think so (grin)
>>> 3. Is it correct that Ubuntu mate is the best system for us?
>> There are lots of flavors and it depends on your experience and
>> likes.  Fortunately, if (as you describe later) you plan not to
>> install but rather just run it off a USB drive, you can try out a
>> bunch of flavors and see which suit you.
>>> 4. How do I make a usb stick to reboot my Mac with Linux?
>> I'm a command-line guy (there might be a GUI way on the Mac, but I'm
>> unfamiliar with it), so you'd find the device-name of your USB drive
>> with something like
>>   gianni at my-mac$ dmesg | tail
>> and compare the results before and after you insert the USB drive.
>> With that device name (maybe something like "disk2").  A quick web
>> search suggests you can also use the "diskutil" command:
>>   gianni at my-mac$ diskutil list
>> to find it.  If your Mac already mounted it, you'd have to unmount it
>> with either
>>   gianni at my-mac$ umount /dev/disk2
>> (note, no "n" in "umount") or use `diskutil`
>>   gianni at my-mac$ diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk2
>> Alternatively, you might be able to use "Eject" in Finder to unmount
>> it.
>> Once you know the name and that the USB drive isn't attached, you'd
>> take the disk-image you downloaded and write it to the drive with the
>> "dd" command. You might also need to use `sudo` to gain root
>> privileges:
>>   gianni at my-mac$ sudo dd if=ubuntu_mate.img of=/dev/disk2 bs=1M
>> Sudo should prompt you for your Mac password which you can then type.
>> The "if" is short for "input file" and "of" is short for "output file"
>> and the "bs" is for "block size" (which speeds things up if you
>> read/write a megabyte at a time instead of reading/writing a single
>> byte at a time; you can increase this to 2-4MB if you want, but I
>> find that 1MB at a time is sufficient).
>> I'm not sure of the magical Open Firmware command to boot a Mac from
>> a USB drive.  Another quick web-search suggests holding down the
>> Option key when you hear the boot-chime and releasing it once the
>> boot-manager comes up.  I'm not sure how accessible the boot manager
>> is, so you may or may not need some sighted assistance there.  It
>> should be (at least visually) apparent which boot device is which,
>> letting you choose the USB drive instead of your internal hard-drive.
>>> 5. When I restart after I am in Linux, does my Mac react normal
>>> again after using Linux?
>> Yep, as long as you didn't perform an install, it should be fine.
>> Another alternative would be using something like Virtual Box to kick
>> the tires within the safe confines of a virtual machine where you
>> won't impact your host Mac.
>> -tim
>> If you run purely off the USB drive, it should reboot fine.
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> --
> Michaël Caron Couturier

Michaël Caron Couturier

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