Prospects for an accessible and open version of Android?

Linux for blind general discussion blinux-list at
Tue Jun 23 23:11:33 UTC 2020

     You can solve the headless problem by buying an HDMI dummy plug.  I 
think I paid less than $10.  This fakes Ubuntu into thinking you have a 
monitor plugged in.

Some people probably fill up racks of little servers and only want to 
access them remotely.  There are many ways to do things.

On 6/22/2020 3:42 AM, Linux for blind general discussion wrote:
> Amanda:
> MeerKat's point is to be tiny. System76 advertise the ability to attach
> the short version directly to a monitor so that it takes up no space on
> a desk. It's portable only in the sense that it's small and would fit
> neatly into any traveling case.
> If you want battery powered, well they make a range of compelling
> laptops, too.
> Putting a battery into the tall MeerKat's second drive compartment is an
> interesting notion. Perhaps System76 might find that attractive. Why not
> ask them?
> And, as for being blocked on boot for lack of mouse or monitor, I think
> those days are history on Linux, though I can't specifically speak to
> Ubuntu. Here's the mainstream problem with that--it doesn't support
> headless deployments, which are fairly common these days.
> Best,
> Janina
> Linux for blind general discussion writes:
>> A couple of questions about the MeerKat:
>> Do you have to plug in a mouse and/or monitor for it to work when it
>> starts up? I had this experience on another Ubuntu system
>> Can you get a built-in battery? I don't understand the point of a tiny
>> device if you have to plug it in to use it.
>> Amanda
>> On 6/21/20, Linux for blind general discussion <blinux-list at> wrote:
>>> My apology for not keeping the initial question in mind.
>>> However, I wonder if asking an Android phone to serve this function is
>>> more an academic exercise than a practical one at this point?
>>> I say this because I'm just now in the process of buying my next
>>> (natively) Linux computer, and it's quite small. It comes pretty close
>>> to the size of an Android phone. So, I suspect it might be the easier
>>> path of practicality is the point.
>>> I'm talking about the MeerKat 5 (small) from (which you can
>>> get with up to a 10th generation Intel I7, 64Gb RAM, and 2Tb NVME
>>> drive), all in a box about 4.5 inches by 4.5 inches by 1.5 inches tall.
>>> The base price is very competitive with a new Android device, imo, with
>>> far more going for it when portable Linux is the goal.
>>> Which is not to put down academic exercies aimed at hacking Android into
>>> something usable. I just think the two questions are worth treating
>>> separately.
>>> Best,
>>> Janina
>>> Linux for blind general discussion writes:
>>>> I think Amanda is trying to get back to the question I originally posted.
>>>> That is, she wants to set up a cell phone with a (mostly) FOSS Android
>>>> variant,
>>>> in order to have an accessible, extensible, and extremely portable
>>>> computer
>>>> that is under her (rather than Google's) control.
>>>> Although she might use the Android UI for some tasks, the goal is to have
>>>> a
>>>> command-line interface and a set of blind-friendly commands that she can
>>>> enter
>>>> via Bluetooth, SSH, etc.  Longer term, entering commands by braille or
>>>> voice
>>>> might allow her to dispense with a separate keyboard.
>>>> As my posting indicated, there are several candidates for a base OS, but
>>>> it's
>>>> hard to tell which one(s) would be a good fit for this use case.
>>>> Suggestions?
>>>> - Rich Morin
>>>>> On Jun 15, 2020, at 23:59, Linux for blind general discussion
>>>>> <blinux-list at> wrote:
>>>>> I don't understand your question. An Android device is a Linux device.
>>>>> It runs on linux kernels, implements several Linux libraries. Its audio
>>>>> subsystem is driven by alsa.
>>>>> The user doesn't see this, of course, because all of that is under the
>>>>> hood, so to speak. The user interface on Android is written in Java, so
>>>>> bears no resemblance to the graphical desktop one might see on a
>>>>> typical
>>>>> Linux computer, typically GNOME or KDE.
>>>>> So, what are you asking? Please say more.
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> Blinux-list mailing list
>>>> Blinux-list at
>>> --
>>> 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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