Screen reader advice for a Linux sysadmin

Linux for blind general discussion blinux-list at
Tue Feb 27 18:55:13 UTC 2018

Hi everyone --

I just joined this list and I am a Linux sysadmin who has been in IT for
over 20 years and my sight now is pretty close to nothing.  I am down to
about 5 degrees of vision and going to nothing at some point, so am
starting to look at screen readers to get used to them before everything
goes dark.  I'm looking to see what other Linux users use and what works
best.  I have a somewhat complicated desktop because I work in an
engineering environment that has a lot of engineering tools based on java
and X-Windows.  Some of the other tools are web based, which makes it
easier.  I support a lot of varying tools and servers, both Linux and
Windows.  I switched back from Linux to Windows as my base desktop for the
accessibility functions.  I have cygwin installed so I can ssh to my
servers.  I also use VNC Viewer so I can get to a VNC session on my servers
in a gui and I also use RDP to get to my Windows servers.  I have decided
that I loathe JAWS in the short time that I have tried it but admittedly I
have not used it for very long.  I so far like NVDA much better and find it
much more simple to learn.  I also use a Mac at home so have toyed with
Voiceover.  I'm beginning to think that one screen reader is not going to
do it all for me.  And that I just need to get used to one of them to
start.  NVDA can read and understand a cygwin window, which is great.  It
has zero idea what is inside a VNC viewer session.  I haven't yet tried it
on an RDP session with Windows.  I know ORCA is available as well on
Linux.  What do you all use?  Any advice?  I'm wondering if I would be
better off with a Mac as my base operating system since I've heard
Voiceover handles Java apps better.

Thanks for the advice!


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