[orca-list] EFI3M more friendly for the blind and visually impaired

Linux for blind general discussion blinux-list at redhat.com
Sat Jul 14 11:58:32 UTC 2018

Hello, Janina.

It all depends on what systems you have installed on the Airbook.

If it is only OS X, EFI3M is of course useless.

Also the only thing EFI3M can do when run under OS X is probably display
its menu and its features. I tried to make EFI3M portable as much as
possible, however the script does use lsblk, which I think is a
Linux-specific utility.

If you do have a Linux distribution installed on the Apple Airbook I
think that you can run EFI3M on this Linux and safely use all the
features but one, which is writing a boot entry in the firmware's menu.
I elaborate on that below.

When using the second choice in the main menu:
2 Install the multiboot menu on your computer
EFI3M will first install the boot loader in <some EFI partition> as
/EFI/EFI3M/BOOTx64.EFI. This will not interfere with any exiting file so
it is safe.
If possible EFI3M  then proposes to also install the boot loader in a
default BOOT directory, which would be in <some EFI partition> as
/EFI/BOOT/BOOTx64.EFI. This is also safe as EFI3M won't override an
exiting file, unless it wrote it in a previous run, which it checks.

BUT after that when asked:
Do you want to add an entry for the boot menu in the firmware? [y/N],
answer N (this is the default).

I don't know if this is the case for your specific machine (the
firmware widely varies across Mac models) but there have been reports in
the past that using the efibootmgr utility to write a boot entry in the
firmware (which EFI3M does in this case) can brick the Mac, so "better
safe than sorry".

You can also write an USB stick, if your machine has an USB port.

You could need to make some setting in the boot manager of the firmware
to start the boot loader written by EFI3M in an internal EFI partition
and|or on an USB stick. I can't say more as I don't have a Mac. For this
very reason, I would be glad of a feed back of your experience, be it
good or bad.


Le 14/07/2018 à 11:58, Janina Sajka a écrit :
> Hello, Didier!
> Very impressive script!
> Unsurprisingly, on my main Desktop machine I get:
> EFI booting is not enabled, game over.
> That leaves me only with an Apple Airbook where I'm hesitent to
> overwrite anything Apple specific. It would be nice to know one could do
> that, though. So, I'm thinking of a way to test undestructively.
> Perhaps, if the script runs properly on OS X, writing to USB would be
> the test?
> Just thinking aloud ...
> Janina
> On 7/13/18, Didier Spaier <didier at slint.fr> wrote:
>> Hello,
>> I just uploaded an new version of EFI3M on GitHub:
>> https://github.com/DidierSpaier/EFI3M
>> You can get it typing:
>> wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/DidierSpaier/EFI3M/master/EFI3M
>> This will download the shell script EFI3M that should be run as root.
>> Enhancements:
>> I have checked that script can be used with speech using orca.
>> This is also true on the console using espeakup, only moving a boot
>> entry up or down while reordering the boot entries is not spoken, I
>> don't know why.
>> Reordering the boot entries is now simpler: just select a boot entry
>> typing its number, then move it with the up or down arrow key. the
>> corresponding line will be distinguished from the others by a * as first
>> character.
>> I will just paste below the second page of the requirements and features
>> as displayed by the script itself as it details the sound features:
>> <quoted page below>
>> Requirements:
>> GRUB version at least 2.02 should be installed, as well as usual
>> utilities found in pretty much any Linux distribution.
>> Sound aid for the visually impaired:
>> After booting, navigate in the menu with the up and down arrow keys.
>> If brltty, espeakup or orca is active when EFI3M is run:
>> 1) A Beep is emitted as soon as the menu is displayed.
>> 2) When pressing Enter on the menu entry n (numbered from the top of
>>    the menu), a tune of n sounds is played. The user can then confirm
>>    this choice pressing Enter (the same tune is then played again) or go
>>    back to the top of the menu pressing the Esc key.
>> 3) The same apply to the the last entries, Halt and Reboot. A descending
>>    arpeggio is played for Halt, a descending followed by an ascending
>>    arpeggio for Reboot. Again, confirm with Enter or cancel with Esc.
>> The sound can also be set afterwards: type 4 in the main menu of EFI3M,
>> then M for Mute or S for Sound, and validate the setting typing V.
>> To apply the modification to an USB stick you will need to write again
>> the menu on it, typing 3 in the main menu.
>> <quoted page ended above>
>> Best regards,
>> Didier
>> _______________________________________________

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