Difference between revisions of "TalkingArch"

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(Removed broken link to an outdated installation demo.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 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.
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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
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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.
cmbrannon79 at gmail dot com. The key ID is CE8D2EE8.
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The fingerprint is A2C6 0177 783D 222E 3677  E247 83A0 DB7D CE8D 2EE8
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== Credits ==
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=== Credits ===
This CD was produced by Chris Brannon, and the downloadable images are hosted by Tyler Littlefield.
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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 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 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 =
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== Installing from the CD ==
The following list of steps is a brief guide to installing Arch Linux
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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}}.
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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#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.
#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.
#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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#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}}
#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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#Enable the espeakup systemd service by typing {{ic|chroot /mnt systemctl enable espeakup.service}}
#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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#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.
 
#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 dialogsThis is not specific to Arch LinuxOther 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 possibleIt is packaged as brltty-minimal in the Arch User RepositoryIf 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 following discussion is a compilation of suggested solutions from members of the Speakup community.
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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:<br>
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<code>export DIALOGOPTS='--visit-items'</code>
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Enable ''highlight tracking''.  Press the star key on the numeric keypad.
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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:
If you use a laptop that lacks the numeric keypad, press the sequence
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arch32 brltty=auto,ttyS0,en_US
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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Once brltty is running, you may wish to disable speech.  You 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.
The "set timezone" menus are a joy to navigate, because the entries
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are numberedJust 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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== Maintaining Your Speech-enabled Arch Linux Installation ==
is a better way to set your system's clock.  Once you have booted Arch Linux
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You shouldn't need to do anything extraordinary to maintain the installation. Everything should just seamlessly work.
from the hard drive, install the ntp package.  Next, execute the command
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<code>ntpdate rolex.usg.edu</code>
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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 you.  Chris 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 Arch Linux Installation =
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== Mastering Speech-enabled ISO Images ==
You shouldn't need to do anything extraordinary to maintain the installation.
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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.
Everything should just seamlessly work.
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= Mastering Speech-enabled ISO Images =
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== Further Resources ==
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, he can do the following.
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Grab sources using git:
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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.
<pre>
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== Disclaimer ==
git clone git://github.com/CMB/TalkingArch.git
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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.
cd archiso
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<!-- vim: set ft=Wikipedia: -->
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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mirrors the master branch from <code>git://projects.archlinux.org/archiso.git</code>
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Install the scripts contained in the archiso/ subdirectory of the sources.
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Change to the configs/talking-inst directory, and type <code>make net-iso</code>.
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Alternatively,
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<code>
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make BOOTLOADER=syslinux net-iso
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</code>
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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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Presently, this CD is only usable with English-language speech.
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= Disclaimer =
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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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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.