Difference between revisions of "TalkingArch"

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[[Category:Getting and installing Arch (English)]]
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[[Category:Getting and installing Arch]]
[[Category:HOWTOs (English)]]
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[[Category:Accessibility]]
[[Category:Accessibility (English)]]
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This page describes a bootable CD / USB image customized for blind users. The modified version is mostly equivalent to the official "netinstall CD", but the system should start speaking as soon as you boot with it. Speech is provided via the sound card, using the eSpeak software synthesizer and the Speakup screenreader.  It is also possible to use a braille display, via brltty. You can obtain the image [http://the-brannons.com/tarch/ from this page].
== Introduction ==
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This page describes a modified Arch Linux install CD that includes spoken output for blind users. The modified version is mostly equivalent to the official "netinstall CD", but the system should start speaking as soon as you boot with it. Speech is provided via the sound card, using the eSpeak software synthesizer and the Speakup screenreader.
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It is only available for the i686 platform; x86-64 is not supported. Click [http://the-brannons.com/tarch/ here] for links to the images.
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The image can be used with both the i686 or the x86_64 architecture. Also, it is suitable for either a recordable CD or a USB stick.  Just download it and write it to the medium of your choice.
  
The detached signature was made using the gpg key associated with the address '''cmbrannon79 at gmail dot com'''. The key ID is '''CE8D2EE8'''. The fingerprint is '''A2C6 0177 783D 222E 3677 E247 83A0 DB7D CE8D 2EE8'''
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A detached GPG signature is provided on the download page.  The signature is made with the gpg key associated with the address '''chris at the-brannons dot com'''. The key ID is '''6521E06D'''. The fingerprint is '''66BD 74A0 36D5 22F5 1DD7 0A3C 7F2A 1672 6521 E06D'''
  
 
=== Credits ===
 
=== Credits ===
This CD was produced by Chris Brannon, and the downloadable images are hosted by Tyler Littlefield.
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The images are produced and hosted by Chris Brannon.
Thanks to the following people for submitting valuable feedback regarding this project: Chuck Hallenbeck, Julien Claassen, Alastair Irving, Tyler Spivey, and Keith Hinton.
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Thanks to the following people for submitting valuable feedback regarding this project: Chuck Hallenbeck, Julien Claassen, Alastair Irving, Tyler Spivey,  Keith Hinton, and many others.  Thanks also go to Tyler Littlefield, who previously hosted the files.
  
 
== Installing from the CD ==
 
== Installing from the CD ==
The following list of steps is a brief guide to installing Arch Linux using this CD. The instructions assume that your root partition will be mounted on /mnt.
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The following list of steps is a brief guide to installing Arch Linux using this CD. The instructions assume that your root partition will be mounted on {{ic|/mnt}}.
  
#When booting, Grub provides a very long timeout. Press enter once the drive stops spinning.
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#This is a dual-architecture .iso file.  If you're booting on an i686 machine, then you can just press {{keypress|enter}} at the boot prompt, or wait for the bootloader to time-out.  If you're booting on an x86_64 system, then do this.  Wait for the boot prompt.  If you're lucky, then you have a console speaker, and you'll hear a beep when the bootloader is ready.  If you don't have a console speaker, just wait for your CD-ROM drive to stop spinning, or alternatively, wait 20 or 30 seconds when booting from USB.  Once you've reached the boot prompt, press {{keypress|escape}} and type {{ic|arch64}} and press {{keypress|enter}}.
#Use the installer on the CD, as per the [[Beginners Guide]]
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#You are strongly encouraged to read the Arch Linux documentation, especially the [[Installation Guide]] and [[Beginners Guide]].  Do the installation procedure described in the [[Installation Guide]], as modified by the instructions below.
# You'll need to install some additional packages with pacmanUnfortunately, the mirror that you selected during the install process isn't used after you exit the installer.  So copy the mirror list from your installation using this command: <code>cp /mnt/etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist</code>
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#You'll need to install the {{ic|espeakup}} and {{ic|alsa-utils}} packages.  The [[Installation Guide]] mentions that you can install additional packages by appending their names to the packstrap command. For example, {{ic|pacstrap /mnt base espeakup alsa-utils}}
#Install the alsa-utils, speakup, and espeakup packages: <code>pacman --root=/mnt --cachedir=/mnt/var/cache/pacman/pkg -Sy alsa-utils speakup espeakup</code>
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#Enable the espeakup systemd service by typing {{ic|chroot /mnt systemctl enable espeakup.service}}
#Customize <code>/mnt/etc/rc.conf</code>: Add speakup and speakup_soft to the MODULES array. Add alsa and espeakup to the DAEMONS array.
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#You also need to save the state of the sound card, so that it will be retrieved on reboot. Execute the command {{ic|alsactl -f /var/lib/alsa/asound.state store}} and copy the file {{ic|/var/lib/alsa/asound.state}} to {{ic|/mnt/var/lib/alsa/asound.state}}. Alternatively, {{ic|alsactl -f /mnt/var/lib/alsa/asound.state store}} will do this with one command.
#You also need to save the state of the sound card, so that it will be retrieved on reboot. Execute the command <code>alsactl store</code> and copy the file <code>/etc/asound.state</code> to <code>/mnt/etc/asound.state</code>. Alternatively, <code>alsactl -f /mnt/etc/asound.state store</code>
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#When you boot the system from the hard disk, it should start speaking.
 
#When you boot the system from the hard disk, it should start speaking.
  
=== Handling Dialogs with Speakup ===
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== Braille Support ==
The Arch Linux installer, <code>/arch/setup</code>, makes extensive use of the '''dialog''' program. Users may experience some difficulties when navigating several of the menus and dialogs. This is not specific to Arch Linux. Other text-mode installers often have similar problems. The following discussion is a compilation of suggested solutions from members of the Speakup community.
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The latest image includes brltty, for those who own braille displays. The brltty package available on the CD was compiled with as few dependencies as possible. It is packaged as brltty-minimal in the Arch User Repository. If you wish to use braille, you will need to supply the brltty parameter at the boot prompt. Alternatively, you can start brltty from the shell, after the system has booted.
  
First, set the DIALOGOPTS environment variable to the value &quot;--visit-items&quot;, before starting the ArchLinux installer.
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The brltty boot-time parameter consists of three comma-separated fields: driver, device, and table.  The first is the driver for your display, the second is the name of the device file, and the third is a relative path to a translation table.  You can use "auto" to specify that the driver should be automatically detected.  I encourage you to read the brltty documentation for a fuller explanation of the program.
  
At a shell prompt, type the following command:
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For example, suppose that you have a device connected to /dev/ttyS0, the first serial port.  You wish to use the US English text table, and the driver should be automatically detected.  Here is what you should type at the boot prompt:
  export DIALOGOPTS='--visit-items'
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  arch32 brltty=auto,ttyS0,en_US
  
Enable ''highlight tracking''.  Press the star key on the numeric keypad. If you use a laptop that lacks the numeric keypad, press the sequence
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Once brltty is running, you may wish to disable speechYou can do so via the "print screen" key, also known as sysrqOn my qwerty keyboard, that key is located directly above the insert key, between F12 and scroll lock.
capslock control 8.
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Speakup will say &quot;highlight tracking&quot;.
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Setting DIALOGOPTS and enabling ''highlight tracking'' mode should be sufficient for navigating most menus.
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==== Setting the Date and Time ====
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The "set timezone" menus are a joy to navigate, because the entries are numberedJust type the corresponding number and press enter.
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The "set date and time" menus are problematicIgnore them, because there is a better way to set your system's clock.  Once you have booted Arch Linux.
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From the hard drive, install the ntp package.  Next, execute the command:
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ntpdate rolex.usg.edu
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You need to be logged in as root to perform both steps. Your system's clock will be synchronized with a time server located in
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the US state of Georgia. You may wish to find a time server that is closer to you.  Chris Brannon never manually sets a system's clock, since setting it with NTP is so much easier.
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== Maintaining Your Speech-enabled Arch Linux Installation ==
 
== Maintaining Your Speech-enabled Arch Linux Installation ==
 
You shouldn't need to do anything extraordinary to maintain the installation. Everything should just seamlessly work.
 
You shouldn't need to do anything extraordinary to maintain the installation. Everything should just seamlessly work.
  
= Mastering Speech-enabled ISO Images =
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== Mastering Speech-enabled ISO Images ==
The Arch Linux developers provide a set of shell scripts and configuration files named archiso. I added a configuration to archiso that allows me to build accessible CDs. If someone wants to produce customized images containing Speakup, she can do the following.
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This process is now fairly straightforward.  Just grab and install the talkingarch-git package from the AURIt depends on archiso-git, so you need that as well. See /usr/share/doc/talkingarch/README for full instructions.
 
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1. Grab sources using git:
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git clone git://github.com/CMB/TalkingArch.git
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  cd archiso
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git checkout --track -b talkinginst origin/talkinginst
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All of my work is done on the "talkinginst" branch. The master branch mirrors the master branch from <code>git://projects.archlinux.org/archiso.git</code>
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2. Install the scripts contained in the archiso/ subdirectory of the sources.
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3. Change to the configs/talking-inst directory, and type <code>make net-iso</code>.
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Alternatively,
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== Further Resources ==
make BOOTLOADER=syslinux net-iso
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yields an image having Isolinux as its bootloader. There are several more targets for "make". For instance, net-usb produces an image suitable for a flash drive.
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= Additional Notes =
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Michael Whapples made an audio tutorial demonstrating the process of installing ArchLinux using this CD.  Click [ftp://linux-speakup.org/pub/speakup/audio/blind_archlinux.mp3 here] to listen to it!  Note that it is out of date, as of the 2012.07.23 snapshot.
Presently, this CD is only usable with English-language speech.
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== Disclaimer ==
 
== Disclaimer ==
This CD image is not an official release.  It is not endorsed by anyone other than Chris Brannon.  It is provided solely for the convenience of its creator and other blind users, and it comes with absolutely no warranty.
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This is not an official release.  It is not endorsed by anyone other than Chris Brannon.  It is provided solely for the convenience of its creator and other blind users, and it comes with absolutely no warranty.
 
<!-- vim: set ft=Wikipedia: -->
 
<!-- vim: set ft=Wikipedia: -->

Revision as of 03:39, 26 November 2012

This page describes a bootable CD / USB image customized for blind users. The modified version is mostly equivalent to the official "netinstall CD", but the system should start speaking as soon as you boot with it. Speech is provided via the sound card, using the eSpeak software synthesizer and the Speakup screenreader. It is also possible to use a braille display, via brltty. You can obtain the image from this page.

The image can be used with both the i686 or the x86_64 architecture. Also, it is suitable for either a recordable CD or a USB stick. Just download it and write it to the medium of your choice.

A detached GPG signature is provided on the download page. The signature is made with the gpg key associated with the address chris at the-brannons dot com. The key ID is 6521E06D. The fingerprint is 66BD 74A0 36D5 22F5 1DD7 0A3C 7F2A 1672 6521 E06D

Credits

The images are produced and hosted by Chris Brannon. Thanks to the following people for submitting valuable feedback regarding this project: Chuck Hallenbeck, Julien Claassen, Alastair Irving, Tyler Spivey, Keith Hinton, and many others. Thanks also go to Tyler Littlefield, who previously hosted the files.

Installing from the CD

The following list of steps is a brief guide to installing Arch Linux using this CD. The instructions assume that your root partition will be mounted on /mnt.

  1. This is a dual-architecture .iso file. If you're booting on an i686 machine, then you can just press Template:Keypress at the boot prompt, or wait for the bootloader to time-out. If you're booting on an x86_64 system, then do this. Wait for the boot prompt. If you're lucky, then you have a console speaker, and you'll hear a beep when the bootloader is ready. If you don't have a console speaker, just wait for your CD-ROM drive to stop spinning, or alternatively, wait 20 or 30 seconds when booting from USB. Once you've reached the boot prompt, press Template:Keypress and type arch64 and press Template:Keypress.
  2. You are strongly encouraged to read the Arch Linux documentation, especially the Installation Guide and Beginners Guide. Do the installation procedure described in the Installation Guide, as modified by the instructions below.
  3. You'll need to install the espeakup and alsa-utils packages. The Installation Guide mentions that you can install additional packages by appending their names to the packstrap command. For example, pacstrap /mnt base espeakup alsa-utils
  4. Enable the espeakup systemd service by typing chroot /mnt systemctl enable espeakup.service
  5. You also need to save the state of the sound card, so that it will be retrieved on reboot. Execute the command alsactl -f /var/lib/alsa/asound.state store and copy the file /var/lib/alsa/asound.state to /mnt/var/lib/alsa/asound.state. Alternatively, alsactl -f /mnt/var/lib/alsa/asound.state store will do this with one command.
  6. When you boot the system from the hard disk, it should start speaking.

Braille Support

The latest image includes brltty, for those who own braille displays. The brltty package available on the CD was compiled with as few dependencies as possible. It is packaged as brltty-minimal in the Arch User Repository. If you wish to use braille, you will need to supply the brltty parameter at the boot prompt. Alternatively, you can start brltty from the shell, after the system has booted.

The brltty boot-time parameter consists of three comma-separated fields: driver, device, and table. The first is the driver for your display, the second is the name of the device file, and the third is a relative path to a translation table. You can use "auto" to specify that the driver should be automatically detected. I encourage you to read the brltty documentation for a fuller explanation of the program.

For example, suppose that you have a device connected to /dev/ttyS0, the first serial port. You wish to use the US English text table, and the driver should be automatically detected. Here is what you should type at the boot prompt:

arch32 brltty=auto,ttyS0,en_US

Once brltty is running, you may wish to disable speech. You can do so via the "print screen" key, also known as sysrq. On my qwerty keyboard, that key is located directly above the insert key, between F12 and scroll lock.

Maintaining Your Speech-enabled Arch Linux Installation

You shouldn't need to do anything extraordinary to maintain the installation. Everything should just seamlessly work.

Mastering Speech-enabled ISO Images

This process is now fairly straightforward. Just grab and install the talkingarch-git package from the AUR. It depends on archiso-git, so you need that as well. See /usr/share/doc/talkingarch/README for full instructions.

Further Resources

Michael Whapples made an audio tutorial demonstrating the process of installing ArchLinux using this CD. Click here to listen to it! Note that it is out of date, as of the 2012.07.23 snapshot.

Disclaimer

This is not an official release. It is not endorsed by anyone other than Chris Brannon. It is provided solely for the convenience of its creator and other blind users, and it comes with absolutely no warranty.