Newbie to linux and a question

Linux for blind general discussion blinux-list at
Sat Dec 15 17:06:58 UTC 2018

Okay, let me back up a bit.

Knoppix is a Live Distribution developed by Klaus Knopper based on
Debian. As a live distribution, it is designed primarily to be run
from a DVD or USB flash drive, though it can be installed to a hard
drive, though this isn't generally recommended and its installer is a
bit quick and dirty compared to distributions actually intended to be
installed to a hard drive.

Adriane(full name: Audio Desktop resource implemntation and networking
environment) is an accessibility suite bundled with Knoppix. By
default, a Knoppix DVD will boot to a desktop environment, but if the
right command is issued at the DVd's boot prompt, it will instead boot
in Adriane mode.

When booted in Adriane mode, the sbl text-mode screen reader is
started automatically and the user is presented with a menu. Most of
the menu options are for common computing tasks such as browsing the
web, checking e-mail, editing documents, playing media files, or file
management, and most of the menu options will invoke an appropriate
text-mode application or serve as a front end to such. There's also an
option that will drop you down to the command line and a Graphical
Programs option that will give you a choice between launching Firefox
with Orca, LibreOffice with Orca, or a full desktop environment with

There use to be three official flavors of Knoppix, each available in
both an English version and a German version: Knoppix Cd, Adriane CD,
and Knoppix DVD. Knoppix CD booted to a graphical desktop by default,
included only the default desktop environment, and fit on a CD.
Adriane CD was identical to Knoppix CD, but booted into Adriane by
default. Knoppix DVD included the option to boot with a 64-bit kernel,
booting into alternate desktop environments, and bundled as much
software as could fit on a DVD, but had the same default boot options
as the Knoppix CD. At some point, Klaus Knopper got to a point where
trimming things down for the CD release took too much time nad effort,
and now, the only official Knoppix images are the Enlgish and German
versions of the DVd. Again, booting to Adriane is still possible,
though the Knoppix boot prompt isn't accessible, which prompted me to
learn how to modify the DVD iso to make it boot into Adriane by

If I'm not mistaken, Adriane utilizes the following text-mode
applications for its various components:
web browser: elinks.
e-mail client: mutt
OCR: Tesseract
File Management: Midnight Commander
Media player: mplayer2 or mpv(both are forks of mplayer)
text editing: nano.
Text-mode screen reader: sbl
Graphical Web browser: Firefox
Graphical Office Suite: LibreOffice
Graphical screen reader: Orca.

Admittedly, I don't really use Adriane much myself, but then again,
I've been immersed in the command line for years, and the only reasons
I haven't switched back to vanilla Debian is because I prefer SBL to
espeakup(the default text-mode screen reader in Debian), sbl isn't
available in Debian's apt repositories, and I haven't figured out how
to replicate Adriane's ability to launch Firefox and Orca without
launching a full desktop environment under Debian. Still, Adriane
seems like a good way for someone who's blind and new to Linux to get
things done without having to constantly fight with the GUI or needing
to jump into the deep end with the command line.


Jeffery Wright
Bachelor of Computer Science
President Emeritus, Nu Nu Chapter, Phi Theta Kappa.

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