Screen reader advice for a Linux sysadmin

Linux for blind general discussion blinux-list at
Tue Feb 27 19:32:06 UTC 2018

Thanks, Harmony and Bryan, for the quick replies.  You guys are definitely
making me want to try my Mac in my work environment as it sounds like I
might have better luck with more things.  My Linux servers are a mixture of
Redhat Enterprise Linux, CentOS, or Ubuntu.  Some ancient Debian.  Some of
them are servers for running tools and databases and some of them are for
silicon engineers (ASIC and FGPA), software engineers, or electrical
engineers who are running a lot of varying tools, both command line or gui
based.  Putty works great but it does not do X-Windows, hence why I have
Cygwin or why I use VNC to get to GNOME or KDE to be able to run gui based
tools.  That is the biggest weakness that I can see with these screen
readers.  They understand the Linux command line through ssh terminals but
it's the more graphical guis that they struggle with.  Interesting your
experience with ORCA, Bryan.  As to the remote Windows systems, I didn't
realize that NVDA has NVDA Remote.  Thanks, Harmony, I will check that


On Tue, Feb 27, 2018 at 11:12 AM, Linux for blind general discussion <
blinux-list at> wrote:

> Hello Kathy,
> I will admittedly confess that I too have asked these same types of
> questions recently on this list. I understand there are a lot of Linux
> users who rely on assistive technology to interact with their system but
> for me Orca was not working as expected. I am a PhD research student and I
> do a lot with embedded systems, several different programming languages,
> and shell commands. I recently was required to use Ubuntu 16.04 to develop,
> run, and test a program. I went out and purchased a new HP laptop to
> install Ubuntu on but once I did I ran into a lot of technical difficulties
> when using Orca. There were some things Orca was not reading, other things
> where Orca would stop talking, and still other things which I was unable to
> determine if Orca was the problem. As a result I simply spun up an AWS
> instance running Ubuntu 16.04 and I use my Mac terminal to ssh into my
> Ubuntu box. I was able to develop, run and test my software with no problem
> at all. I will also admit that I do not use Wind
>  ows much at all if I can help it but if necessary I will use it for a
> given task.
> Here is my opinion and it is only my opinion I am sure others here can
> provide a very different opinion. I use Mac due to its high quality screen
> reader, easy to use interface, and access to Unix terminal. I would love to
> say I use Linux because I do but at this current moment I only use it on
> the cloud virtually. Maybe that is the same thing in retrospect. I can use
> all three operating systems with different screen readers because I want to
> make sure I am versatile and able to use whatever is necessary for me to
> solve the problem at hand. Since you have done your job for 20 years or so
> you know best what you will require to continue performing that job. I can
> say that everything you described can be done using a Mac with built in
> tools. Hope this helps.
> Bryan Duarte | software engineer
> ASU Computer Science Ph.D Student
> IGERT Fellow
> Alliance for Person-centered Accessible Technology (APAcT)
> Center for Cognitive Ubiquitous Computing (CUbiC Lab)
> National Federation of the Blind of Arizona | Affiliate Board Member
> National Association of Blind Students | Board Member
> Arizona Association of Blind Students | President
> Phone: 480-652-3045
> > On Feb 27, 2018, at 11:55 AM, Linux for blind general discussion <
> blinux-list at> wrote:
> >
> > Kathy
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