Newbee Linux user introduction

Linux for blind general discussion blinux-list at
Fri Apr 3 07:27:33 UTC 2020

Welcome to blinux, Simon. GGood to see you on this list and hope it
provides you the support you're seeking.

As the person responding to you noted, you made some smart decisions,
even if by chance! <smile>

Let me provide a bit more perspective. The iso image you used is
oriented around providing an accessible graphical desktop. That's not a
bad thing.

But it's different from what you'll get with the Arch installers,
including the newer tarch. Those give you a minimal accessible console
environment suitable for Speakup and/or Fenrir and for brltty on the
console. You're on your own to build that into Gnome with Mate and a
functioning Orca.

Can you backfill for console accessibility? Probably, but were this my
problem, I think I'd reinstall to start with those tools working, not
try to back fill. Having given it all of 15 minutes consideration I
suspect that's the easier path. Were I tasked to back fill, I'd probably
want to do it over ssh, though. Did your image set you up with the ssh-server? I
rather suspect not.

Hope this clarifies things a bit.



Linux for blind general discussion writes:
> You probably didn't choose gnome when you installed debian so you have
> the mate desktop installed.  That was a very smart choice.  After you've
> logged in inside orca, try hitting the alt key and holding that down
> then hit f1 key.  If I am right a whole set of menus and commands will
> start speaking as they come up on your screen.  That particular
> keystroke combination does not do that in gnome normally.  One could
> force gnome into classical mode where this would work but you're
> probably better off not doing that especially if your machine is light
> on resources.
> On Fri, 27 Mar 2020, Linux for blind general discussion wrote:
> > Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 13:27:41
> > From: Linux for blind general discussion <blinux-list at>
> > To: blinux-list at
> > Subject: Newbee Linux user introduction
> >
> > Hello,
> >
> > My name is Simon and I am from UK.
> >
> > I have been a Windows and for 13 years a mac user.  I have no training in computer programming.  Whatever I do know , I have learnt as I went along.  I would like to give Linux a go, having failed a few years ago.  But I?m quite determined to learn.  I have just joined this group, and I would like to ask you to be patient with me as I may be talking nonsense or asking very basic questions.  The world of Linux is very new to me and I am still very much learning the concepts and terms other experienced users take for granted.
> >
> > If you had any suggestions or pointers to any materials I might use to start, please help.  I understand from my research on the subject of Linux accessibility that CLI is the way to go.  I have no sight and I use speech as well as Braille.  I have just managed to install Debian 10.3 distro on an old laptop Dell inspiron 640, have successfully activated Orca during the installation and completed it.  I can?t yet determine whether I?m using gnome desktop or Mate, and if Gnome, whether it would be easier for me to use Mate , and if the latter is true, how I would install or choose Mate if it?s already installed.  I?m not quite sure yet either exactly what the difference between the two is.  I realize my Dell is 13 years old, and I will want to purchase a much newer second hand laptop as soon as I?ve saved for it.  This might enable me to install something different.  A friendly person on another list suggested tarch.  I am beginning to research Tarch and want to be ready to use it so
>   if there are any documents that would help me understand how Tarch works after the installation, and whether I can install it without sight, please say.
> >
> > Thank you for listening.
> >
> > Simon
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Blinux-list mailing list
> > Blinux-list at
> >
> -- 
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Janina Sajka

Linux Foundation Fellow
Executive Chair, Accessibility Workgroup:

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)
Chair, Accessible Platform Architectures

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