X session to run browser with Orca from Arch console

Linux for blind general discussion blinux-list at redhat.com
Thu Jan 11 01:52:38 UTC 2018

Since this message was posted here, I wanted to let the list know that I 
have found the solution.

Some applications may be able to run as standalone X sessions using a 
command like
startx /path/to/application
This appeared to work for Chromium as a matter of fact. I successfully 
accessed a website from Chromium using the command
startx chromium --enable-speech-dispatcher https://website.domain
This of course assumes that Chromevox is installed. This method works 
well for Chromium and other self-voiced applications, because they don't 
need a screen reader to run in the background. Most applications need 
Orca in order to speak. Startx is only capable of running one client 
application on its command line. Therefore a simple wrapper script is 
required. Writing a very small script like
and calling it firefox-wrapper for example has been tested and found to 
be running Firefox and loading Orca along with it when run as
startx /path/to/firefox-wrapper
properly killing Orca as soon as Firefox is closed. However, some 
applications that pop up new windows or message boxes, Firefox being a 
notable example that I tried, froze as it popped up the "add security 
exception" popup window for a website with an expired ssl certificate, 
and would likely freeze when popping up any other window, because 
apparently it freezes the window under the popup, assuming that the 
popup will get focus, but it is never able to get focus, so Orca stays 
frozen on the "insecure connection" window behind the "add exception" 
popup, as it is still seen as the focused window. Firefox, and likely 
other applications as well, rely on a window manager to focus their 
popup windows in some cases, freezing the window that is supposed to be 
underneath the popup. But without a window manager, the popup never gets 
focus, and there's no way to force the window to get focus. Enter lwm, 
the lightest window manager I've ever seen, weighing in at a lean mean 
74KB installed. I simply modified my firefox-wrapper script so that it 
now looks like
and now Firefox runs correctly as a near standalone X application, and 
as a window pops up, it gets focus as it should. I also wrote a similar 
thunderbird-wrapper script, and I'm actually using a standalone 
Thunderbird using lwm to focus its windows as I write this message.

So along with the Kies text menu system, it is possible now to add X 
applications in an environment where a minimalist approach is a must, 
but where modern browsing and other graphical applications are required 
that need to run in as little RAM as possible. I'll be adding these and 
possibly a few other similar wrapper scripts to the new Kies git 
repository that I'm currently maintaining at
Willem, if you see this, feel free to add my wrappers to your official 
downloadable tarball as well.
Imetumwa kutoka orodha yangu

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