The official Arch Linux installation medium supports various Accessibility features:
- speech is provided by the package
- braille terminal support is handled by the package
This document describes how to install Arch Linux using these features.
Boot the live environment
When the installation medium starts booting, press
Down followed by
Enter to boot with speech enabled.
USB braille displays should be detected automatically via udev.
Multiple sound cards
If your computer has several sound cards, you will hear the following message: Please select your sound card for speech output.
When you hear a beep on the output that you would like to use, press
Enter to select the card.
Change speech language
To change the espeak-ng language/voice used by
espeakup.service, edit the unit so that the language code is appended to
default_voice= in the
You can also change the espeak-ng voice variant by appending
+variant to the language code. See and for more information.
Install essential packages
For speech support in the installed system, you need install the package.and . If you use a braille display,
Append the required packages to thecall when installing:
# pacstrap -K /mnt base linux linux-firmware espeakup alsa-utils
Configure the system
If #Multiple sound cards were detected, copy the
/etc/asound.conf file, which has been generated in the installation medium:
# cp /etc/asound.conf /mnt/etc/
Enable the services
After booting into the newly installed system it should start speaking automatically.
Most graphical applications should work out of the box, such as Gtk-, Qt- or Gecko-based ones. You can verify the functionality by running. The application of choice should appear and have a deeply nested tree structure of children. Issues may arise if:
- You haven't enabled the assistive technologies setting for your distribution. There's usually a single checkbox somewhere to be found to enable it. After enabling, you need to reboot.
- The application is Chromium- or Electron-based. These programs typically need both the Environment variable
ACCESSIBILITY_ENABLED=1, and an additional argument
--force-renderer-accessibilitywhen launching. For Chrome you can replace the latter step with enabling the accessibility options inside
chrome://accessibility, however this seems to not persist after restart.
- The application is Java-based. In this case, you need to install the ATK bridge (depending on your Java version)
- In the rare case that the application is an exotic, old application built with Qt4, such as some programs that haven't been maintained since 2015, you need to install
- As a last resort, any of these other environment variables may help: