Difference between revisions of "TalkingArch"

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m (Give a reason for the 3rd release, and acknowledge those who tested the 2nd release.)
(Removed broken link to an outdated installation demo. Also referenced the #talkingarch IRC channel and support e-mail)
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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]]
= Introduction =
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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://talkingarch.tk/ from this page].
This page describes the  second release of a modified ArchLinux install CD that includes spoken output for blind users. The modified version is mostly equivalent to the official "ftp 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. There are two versions: an Isolinux version and a Grub version. One may obtain ".iso" images via HTTP.
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Grub:
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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.
[http://cmb.tysdomain.com/TalkingArch-2009.03-ftp-i686.iso download]
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[http://cmb.tysdomain.com/TalkingArch-2009.03-ftp-i686.iso.sig detached signature]<br>
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MD5 sum: e0854e63d59cea73b94ba0d5b46206d0
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Isolinux:
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A detached GPG signature is provided on the download page. The signature for the current iso build 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'''. This information will change when the next build becomes available to reflect the new maintainers.
[http://cmb.tysdomain.com/TalkingArch-2009.03-ftp-i686-isolinux.iso download]
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[http://cmb.tysdomain.com/TalkingArch-2009.03-ftp-i686-isolinux.iso.sig detached signature]<br>
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MD5 sum: 23a40cb13455a8580cc04730e741d6eb
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The detached signatures were made using the gpg key associated with the address
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=== Credits ===
cmbrannon79 at gmail dot comThe key's fingerprint is CE8D2EE8.
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The build system, which is a respin of the Archiso releng configuration, is maintained by Kelly Prescott and by Kyle, and the images and main website are hosted by Kyle.
 +
Thanks to Chris Brannon, the past maintainer, and to the following people for submitting valuable feedback regarding this project: Chuck Hallenbeck, Julien Claassen, Alastair Irving, Tyler Spivey,  Keith Hinton, and many othersThanks also go to Tyler Littlefield, who previously hosted the files.
  
This is release 3 of the ISO.  It fixes a major defect found in release 2.
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== Installing from the CD ==
The sound card initialization script shipped with release 2 only unmuted
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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}}.
the Master and PCM controls.  This is not sufficient for all sound cards.
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The script included in release 3 should unmute all necessary controls.
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== Credits ==
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#This is a dual-architecture .iso file.  You can just press {{ic|enter}} at the boot prompt, or wait for the bootloader to time-out.  Your processor should be automatically detected, and the appropriate architecture should be loaded automatically. If you have a console speaker, you will hear a beep when the boot prompt is on screen. Otherwise, wait about 10 to 20 seconds after the CD starts spinning, or about 3 to 5 seconds after the system begins to boot from USB, and then press {{ic|enter}} to boot the image.
This CD was produced by Chris Brannon, and the downloadable images are hosted by Tyler Littlefield.
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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.
Thanks to the following people for submitting valuable feedback regarding release 2: Chuck Hallenbeck, Julien Claassen, and Keith Hinton.
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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}}
 
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#Enable the espeakup systemd service by typing {{ic|chroot /mnt systemctl enable espeakup.service}}
= Installing from the CD =
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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.
The following list of steps is a brief guide to installing ArchLinux
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using this CD.
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The instructions assume that your root partition will be mounted on /mnt.
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#When booting, Grub provides a very long timeout. Press enter once the drive stops spinning.
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#Use the installer on the CD, as per the [[Beginners Guide]].
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#Install the alsa-utils and espeak packages: <pre>pacman --root=/mnt -Sy alsa-utils espeak</pre>
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#Install the speakup and espeakup packages. These are not yet available in the community repository. There are two ways to install them.
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##Use the binary packages from Chris Brannon's custom package repository.
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##:I promise that the speakup package will always match the kernel version available from the official ArchLinux repositories. Append the following two lines to <pre>/etc/pacman.conf</pre> and <pre>/mnt/etc/pacman.conf</pre>: <br>
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##:<pre>[blind]</pre>
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##:<pre>Server = http://members.cox.net/cmbrannon/blind/i686</pre>
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##:Install the packages from my custom repository: <pre>pacman --root=/mnt -Sy speakup espeakup</pre>
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##Build the packages from source, using the PKGBUILDs available from the Arch User Repository. For convenience, the URLs are: [http://aur.archlinux.org/download/speakup/speakup.tar.gz speakup PKGBUILD] [http://aur.archlinux.org/download/espeakup/espeakup.tar.gz espeakup PKGBUILD]. If I were going to choose this option, I would probably chroot into the newly installed ArchLinux system in order to build the packages.
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#Customize <pre>/mnt/etc/rc.conf</pre>: 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 <pre>alsactl store</pre> and copy the file <pre>/etc/asound.state</pre> to <pre>/mnt/etc/asound.state</pre>. Alternatively, <pre>alsactl -f /mnt/etc/asound.state store</pre>
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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 ArchLinux installer, <pre>/arch/setup</pre>, makes extensive use of the '''dialog''' program. Users may experience some difficulties when navigating several of the menus and dialogsThis is not specific to ArchLinux.  Other text-mode installers often have similar problems.
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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 promptAlternatively, you can start brltty from the shell, after the system has booted.
 
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The following discussion was compiled from suggestions on the Speakup list,
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and it includes some advice from Chris Brannon.
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First, enable highlight tracking.  Press the star key on the numeric keypad.
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If you use a laptop that lacks the numeric keypad, press the sequence
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capslock control 8.
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Speakup will say "highlight tracking".  This is sufficient to navigate
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most of the menus with the arrow keys, but there are a few notable exceptions, described in the following paragraphs.
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=== Choosing a Filesystem ===
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The "choose filesystem" menu doesn't cooperate with highlight tracking.
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It is difficult to determine which of the entries is selected.
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There are two solutions.
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The first is suggested by Adam Myrow.
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<blockquote>
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You can also use insert+period on the numeric keypad to check out the
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color of the text under the cursor.  By going from line to line, and
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checking the color, it should become apparent which item is selected.  For
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example, in Slackware, the highlighted option is bright red on blue, and
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the others are red on cyan.  In this example, highlight tracking gives
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improper feedback, listing the option above the one that is selected.
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</blockquote>
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Note for laptop users: the equivalent key sequence is capslock slash.
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The second solution is even easier, assuming that you want ext2, ext3, or ext4
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as your filesystem.  If you want ext2, just press enter after the menu
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is displayed.  If you want ext3, press down-arrow once, followed by enter.
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Two down-arrows from the top of the menu gives you ext4.
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This is Chris Brannon's preferred method.  Just count menu entries, and
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press down-arrow the requisite number of times.
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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
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are numbered.  Just type the corresponding number and press enter.
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The "set date and time" menus are problematic.  Ignore them, because there
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is a better way to set your system's clock.  Once you have booted ArchLinux
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from the hard drive, install the ntp package.  Next, execute the command
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<pre>ntpdate rolex.usg.edu</pre>
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You need to be logged in as root to perform both steps.
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Your system's clock will be synchronized with a time server located in
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the US state of Georgia.
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You may wish to find a time server that is closer to youChris Brannon never
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manually sets a system's clock, since setting it with NTP is so much easier.
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= Maintaining Your Speech-enabled ArchLinux Installation =
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If you added my custom package repository to your pacman.conf file,
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then you will be able to receive upgrades to the speakup and espeakup packages
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whenever they happenThis is infrequent.
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I rebuild speakup whenever ArchLinux provides a major kernel upgrade.
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When kernel version 2.6.28 replaced version 2.6.27, a new speakup package
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was available several hours after the new kernel was made available on
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the Arch mirrors.
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Everything should seamlessly work.
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= Mastering Speech-enabled ISO Images =
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The ArchLinux developers build their CD images using 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, he can do the following.
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Grab sources using git:
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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.
<pre>
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git clone http://members.cox.net/cmbrannon/archiso.git
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cd archiso
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git checkout --track -b talkinginst origin/talkinginst
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</pre>
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All of my work is done on the "talkinginst" branch. The master branch
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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:
mirrors the master branch from <pre>git://projects.archlinux.org/archiso.git</pre>
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arch32 brltty=auto,ttyS0,en_US
  
Install the scripts contained in the archiso/ subdirectory of the sources.
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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.
  
In order to create the image, pacman needs to be able to find the speakup
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== Maintaining Your Speech-enabled Arch Linux Installation ==
and espeakup packages.
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You shouldn't need to do anything extraordinary to maintain the installation. Everything should just seamlessly work.
Add my custom "blind" package repository to <pre>/etc/pacman.conf</pre> on the host system, as described in the instructions for installing from CD. Change to the configs/talkinginst directory, and type <pre>make ftp-iso</pre>.
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Alternatively,
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== Mastering Speech-enabled ISO Images ==
<pre>
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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.
make BOOTLOADER=syslinux ftp-iso
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</pre>
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yields an image having Isolinux as its bootloader. There are several more targets for "make". For instance, ftp-usb produces an image suitable for a flash drive.
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= Additional Notes =
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== Further Resources ==
Presently, this CD is only usable with English-language speech.
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= Disclaimer =
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TalkingArch now has an IRC channel at #talkingarch on irc.freenode.net. Feel free to drop in and talk to the maintainers or anyone else in the channel. You may also reach the maintainers by e-mail at support [at] talkingarch [dot] tk.
The author of this modified CD is in no way associated with ArchLinux. The product 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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== Disclaimer ==
 +
This is not an official release.  It is not endorsed by anyone other than its maintainers.  It is provided solely for the convenience of blind and visually impaired users, and it comes with absolutely no warranty.
 +
<!-- vim: set ft=Wikipedia: -->

Revision as of 06:00, 23 January 2014

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 for the current iso build 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. This information will change when the next build becomes available to reflect the new maintainers.

Credits

The build system, which is a respin of the Archiso releng configuration, is maintained by Kelly Prescott and by Kyle, and the images and main website are hosted by Kyle. Thanks to Chris Brannon, the past maintainer, and 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. You can just press enter at the boot prompt, or wait for the bootloader to time-out. Your processor should be automatically detected, and the appropriate architecture should be loaded automatically. If you have a console speaker, you will hear a beep when the boot prompt is on screen. Otherwise, wait about 10 to 20 seconds after the CD starts spinning, or about 3 to 5 seconds after the system begins to boot from USB, and then press enter to boot the image.
  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

TalkingArch now has an IRC channel at #talkingarch on irc.freenode.net. Feel free to drop in and talk to the maintainers or anyone else in the channel. You may also reach the maintainers by e-mail at support [at] talkingarch [dot] tk.

Disclaimer

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