Can I run an accessible version of linux under windows?

Linux for blind general discussion blinux-list at
Sat Oct 30 13:27:19 UTC 2021

Hi John,
Is the mint linux you mentioned menu driven like accessible coconut or command line based? In what ways is it different from accessible coconut if you gave it a try?

Sent from my iPad

> On Oct 29, 2021, at 11:39 AM, Linux for blind general discussion <blinux-list at> wrote:
> Hi,
> I am also relatively new to using Linux as a blind person. Over the past several months, I have downloaded and tried several of the recommended Linux distributions. About a month ago, I came across Linux Mint with the Mate desktop. I like it very much. I am currently working on a project where I have to setup Linux computers for several sighted people and I am using Mint as the distro that I am deploying. I am happy to say that I put the first of these computers into production this week.
> So far, so good. There are a few minor things that I would like to learn to tweak on that system, but I am confident that knowledge will come to me over time.
> The accessibility experience with Linux Mint Mate has been very positive. After downloading the live ISO from, I used Rufus running on my Windows 7 computer to create a bootable     USB flash drive. ( I used a 10 year old Lenovo Thinkpad X220 for all of the testing, first just running from the flash drive and later, installing on a fresh Samsung EVO SSD in the X220. Performance on this 10 year old computer was excellent. I actually did all of the configuration, tweaking and user testing on the X220. Once the setup was ready to turn over to the user, I made an image of the SSD and then just swapped the SSD into the computer for the user. Her computer is also a Lenovo. Mint booted on her computer and she was off and running. I am impressed that I was able to complete the setup of the computer with relatively few roadblocks. I am also impressed with the performance and stability of Linux Mint Mate. The next system that I will be configuring is somewhat more demanding, but I am confident that I will get through it. As with the first system, I will be doing all of the testing and configuration on my trusty old X220 with a fresh Samsung EVO SSD.
> So, if you do not have a old PC gathering dust in a closet, you can create a bootable USB containing Linux Mint Mate and then boot from the USB stick on your existing Windows computer. When you are done playing with Linux, just remove the USB stick and reboot back into Windows. I believe that in the Mint install program, which is fully screen reader accessible, there might be an option where you can install Linux Mint alongside your existing Windows install. Then at boot time, you can choose which system to boot in to. I did not do this, so I can not comment on how well this works.
> One more thing...When you boot into the USB stick, you will have to press control+Alt+Super (this is what linux calls the Windows key) in order to start the Orca screen reader. The "Orca" key is the insert key, just like Jaws or NVDA. Do a web search for "orca screen reader" and you will find plenty of information to help get you up to speed with this screen reader. I am having no problem jumping between it and Jaws/NVDA.
> This experience has been enjoyable for me and I hope that it will be for you also. Do not hesitate to reach out as other questions arise. I can tell you that during the past month, I have spent many hours searching the web for answers to the many, many questions that came up for me. And there is just so much info in the web related to using Linux.
> Best,
> John
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