Linux distro and questions
Linux for blind general discussion
blinux-list at redhat.com
Sun Jan 7 07:36:52 UTC 2018
Linux for blind general discussion writes:
> Now on to speak up... If I am understanding correctly, speak up is a command line only screen reader. Is this something that you have to execute the script every time you send a command or is it something that you execute in the command line and it stays running.
This isn't accurate.
Speakup is a kernel module, currently part of the staging modules in the
If you use the Talking Arch installation I pointed you to, it will be
set up for you as part of the installation. You need do nothing further
other than learn to use it.
> I really like the side by side Orca and Speak Up set up here... I assume you are creating separate desktops in the sense that you have them split from one running the GUI desktop, and another running a terminal desktop? I am curious to know how to set this up... My knowledge of Linux is far beneath this know how.
A little computer history here ...
Before there were computer monitors, output from a computer might be
printed on a physical terminal which would be a box with a typing
keyboard and a printer, all in one. The printer printed on a roll of
paper that spooled off as more and more was printed.
Clearly, monitors were a solid step forward.
The console environment is not a desktop. It generally presents as a
command prompt from whichever shell interpreter you've chosen to use.
There are many shells, historic and in current use. Mine is perhaps the
most common, bash, also known with tongue in cheek as the "bourn again shell."
A bash prompt is just that. Mine looks like this:
janina at concerto 02:02:46 ~$
This provides my user login, my machine name, the current time as of
when the prompt popped up--something I'm just quirky about
personally--and the userlevel prompt indicator, the octothorp symbol,
also known as the pound sign or the hash mark, depending on which
country you live in.
If that looks like what you see with Orca in the gnome terminal, you're
catching on to the similarity.
The application called screen which I recommended provides a smart
terminal environment for the text console. The difference between
terminal and console is probably a bit arcane for the moment--so let's
not go there for now.
>From the shell prompt you are on your own. You type commands and deal with the
results. Speakup is simply active as you do that.
This is different from tabbing and arrowing around and selecting things
via check boxes, and radio buttons, i.e. it's not a desktop, it's a
Speakup goes away if you load the graphical X Windows environment to run
Orca and the applications available on the graphical desktop. Typically,
you can only launch X in one console, but you may have as many text
consoles as you like. That's the business with Alt+Ctrl+Fn that I worte
about in my last message to you. It's an important concept. It's rather
like the tty version of Alt-TAB on the graphical desktop--but arguably more
> I am ordering a new laptop today to get set up with some version of Linux. Hopefully by the time it arrives I will have made an educated decision on which distro to run. Thanks for all the help in answering these novice questions...
OK, but do a little more research first. Not every laptop runs Speakup
and Linux well. Be ware.
Do a search for linux laptops and see what experiences others have had
installing and running linux on particular laptop models. You'll be glad
> 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 Jan 6, 2018, at 12:49 AM, Linux for blind general discussion <blinux-list at redhat.com> wrote:
> > If you're interested in using the terminal for real work:
> > 1.) Use Speakup. The easiest way is to install a Linux distribution
> > that includes Speakup with its kernel modules. My current choice is
> > Arch, though there are others:
> > https://talkingarch.tk/
> > 2.) Use espeak with espeakup for your tts, possibly even espeakup-git for UTF8
> > support.
> > 2.) Use screen in your text-only consoles. This may seem an
> > unrelated step, and it probably is, but you won't be sorry if you put
> > screen into your Linux terminals.
> > 4.) Use x-clip to copy between Speakup's clipboard and the graphical
> > desktop clipboard that Orca supports.
> > https://security.archlinux.org/package/xclip
> > A couple additional comments:
> > This isn't an either or situation, ti's a both and situation. You can
> > have Orca and Speakup working happily side by side on the same computer.
> > To achieve this you need to learn how to change from one tty to another,
> > specificaly by using the function keys at the top of your keyboard
> > together with Alt and Control, Example: Alt+Ctrl+F1 will probably bring
> > up your graphical desktop where Orca is. With Speakup loaded and
> > functioning, Alt+Ctrl+F2 through Alt+Ctrl+F6 will bring up text consoles
> > where you'll be relying on Speakup and screen.
> > Note that it's possible to avoid multiple logins. This is an advanced
> > topic using the openvt command. My ttys are loaded by in a script that I launch
> > following my first login.
> > Note also that you're not limited in how many ttys you can open. This is
> > another advanced topic. Suffice it to say I have 24. This requires a
> > slight tweak to the keyboard map to preserve the old distinction between
> > the left Alt key and the right Alt key. Years ago this was the standard
> > keyboard map, but the graphical desktop made people stupid about the
> > value of the distinction, so you need to take care of this yourself, if
> > you want more than 12 ttys.
> > hth
> > Janina
> > Linux for blind general discussion writes:
> >> Thank you all for this information.
> >> I was able to get Orca to copy text from the terminal but it worked some times and did not work other times. I was also unable to review the entire contents of the terminal output using Orca. I have a feeling this might be due to my limited knowledge of Orca and all the review commands.
> >> How do you all interace with output from the terminal window? I know if you are using Linux you must primarily work in the command line, right?
> >> Is the new distro of Linux pretty stable? What is it? Sling or something? I really like Debian distros and would most likely go with that unless there is another distro which is better equipt for accessibility. I am using Linux for pen testing and network security so I want to make sure I have access to all the tools I will need as well as any and all console output. If speak up works well in the terminal I might just look into that since I will work primarily in the command line any ways.
> >> 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 Jan 5, 2018, at 6:45 PM, Linux for blind general discussion <blinux-list at redhat.com> wrote:
> >>> fenrir is the name of that screen reader and when run it has to be run as root with pulseaudio running as --system. I have had no luck getting fenrir running at all. Anywhere in orca cut and paste is difficult which makes setting up google drive and dropbox just about impossible along with youtube-viewer when you want to login to your youtube account since a code on a web page has to be cut then pasted back into the application. These cut and paste operations can't be done with speakup since speakup can't run with firefox or chrome or chromium. In terminal mode in orca, the edit menu is all that's likely to offer any cut and paste capability and it's limited to select all then cut then later paste. I suppose one might paste to a new file then edit that file removing any extraneous output and then maybe cutting from that file and maybe pasting where you want that output to go. A package called xclip and another called gpaste exist but I've not heard of people using either for
> > t
> >> his work with orca yet.
> >>> The speakup cut and paste facilities are really effective on the console level. I'm wondering if you have both speakup and orca running on the same system with speakup turned off while running orca could you go into terminal in orca, shut orca off with insert-q then start speakup and have speakup talk you through what's going on in the terminal? I think even if this were done and you could do a good cut operation with speakup probably once speakup were turned off and terminal were exited and orca was turned back on a paste operation couldn't be done with the cut material from speakup since speakup and whatever graphical user environment being run both use different clipboard memory real estate. If both use the same memory space more would be possible.
> >>> On Fri, 5 Jan 2018, Linux for blind general discussion wrote:
> >>>> Date: Fri, 5 Jan 2018 20:20:09
> >>>> From: Linux for blind general discussion <blinux-list at redhat.com>
> >>>> To: Linux for blind general discussion <blinux-list at redhat.com>
> >>>> Subject: Re: Linux distro and questions
> >>>> Well Brian, I can answer 2 items in your list. Yes, Speakup has a quite good review function, similar but lots better than NVDA in windows. What really comes in handy are the cut-and-past ability which I use all the time. As for your laptop, why not try Vinux 5.1, currently based on Ubuntu, but soon switching to Fedora.
> >>>> O-and-there is also a Fenrar screen-reader, but I know little about it.
> >>>> Chime
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> > Janina Sajka
> > Linux Foundation Fellow
> > Executive Chair, Accessibility Workgroup: http://a11y.org
> > The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)
> > Chair, Accessible Platform Architectures http://www.w3.org/wai/apa
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Linux Foundation Fellow
Executive Chair, Accessibility Workgroup: http://a11y.org
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)
Chair, Accessible Platform Architectures http://www.w3.org/wai/apa
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