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Re: Most suitable linux distro for a blind linux newbie?

Hi Samuel,

On Sun, Aug 07, 2005 at 07:56:52PM +0200, Samuel Thibault wrote:
> Hi,
> Larissa Naber, le Sun 07 Aug 2005 07:17:52 +0200, a écrit :
> > My friend Yasemin, who is blind, wants to give Linux a spin. Now I'm 
> > looking for a suiteable distro. Although I have plenty of Linux 
> > experience my knowledge concerning making linux work for ablind person 
> > is somewhat limited. As of now, I spectaculariy failed to make my 
> > emacspeak speak. Most of my own maschines are running either gentoo or 
> > slackware and I used Suse in the past.

Debian is a great choice. I quote here from a posting by Shane Wagner a 
short while ago:

Hello all,

The speakup enabled Debian network installation CD for
Debian 3.1r0a (Sarge) is now available.  The iso can be
downloaded from

The readme.txt in the download directory or README.speakup
on the CD itself will explain how to get the install
started with speakup but is the same as in previous

There are a few machines which will not install with the
standard install kernel so a speakup26 boot target was
added to the CD to install with a 2.6 version of the
kernel.  This is needed to install Debian on some newer
sata controllers which linux 2.4 doesn't detect.  It is the
equivalent of using the linux26 target.  Note that
speakup26 will by default also install a 2.6 kernel onto
the target system which is also speakup enabled.

Bug reports are always welcome.


> > 
> > I believe that a distro with a bsd like port system such as debian or 
> > gentoo is easiest to handle for a newbie. As gentoo tends to be a bit 
> > volatile, I probably would rather pick a debian stable release. Anybody 
> > out there using debian?

I switched from Slackware to Debian a couple of months back, and I 
recognize the names of a number of other blind Debian users on this list 
as well. The speakup solution is a good one, but it works best with a 
hardware synth. Another solution is a user-space program called "YASR" 
but I have not used it. The trouble with emacspeak is that the user has 
to learn emacs, and your newby may prefer a simpler suite of 
applications such as mutt and elinks.


The Moon is Waxing Crescent (7% of Full)
But you can still get downloads from http://www.mhcable.com/~chuckh

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