Hi all. Here, in this topic, I, and other Linux users who would pitch in, will give new or prospective Linux users answers to questions. I, also, will give out guides now and then to help new users to make the best of all Linux has to offer. My first guide will be how to set up Emacs with Emacspeak, creating an "audio desktop." This can also be done on the Mac, but in Linux, you get full integration with other Linux packages, like PGP for digitally signing your messages. I'll do my tutorial in the next post from me to this topic, but for now I'll give prospective users a little to digest about which distribution to go with:
arch Linux is the distro I have. It's pretty hard, for me at least, to set up, but once that's done, it's a joy to use.
Debian is pretty solid, but has older packages.
fedora is newer than Debian, but doesn't have Voxin support yet.
Ubuntu is okay, but some parts are not accessible, and packages are slightly newer than Debian.

So, now that that's out of the way, I'll let this topic gather steam a bit while I write my guide on setting up Emacspeak.

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If you need a stable system i would highly recommend Debien. I have never had issues with it, yes the packages are older, but the OS is meant to be stable, and it delivers from my experience. If you want to play around with new software and don't mind breaking things, go with arch. Arch teaches you a lot about linux, just to set it up. You learn about config files, and how to build a system from the ground up, plus, the arch wiki is fantastic for information about arch, but linux in general. The funny thing is, i haven't had really any problems with Arch per say, despite the bleeding edge packages, but again, if you want stable, you might want to stay away. Now, i have had the most issues with Ubuntu, mainly issues with Orca not starting after an update, or it would just hang for no reason that i could find. My own oppinion is that Ubuntu is the dog of the bunch, it's bloated, and there are a ton of packages that you might never need or use. The beauty with Arch and Debien is that you can make the system any way you want, and that means you only install what you need, not what someone else thinks you need. I had a vinilla debien install once, with just the Mate desktop, firefox, and orca, and it was only around 3 gigs in size. I think the default Ubuntu installation is around 14 gigs or so. Just my thoughts, if i think of more things to share, i'll come back.

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Thanks for those thoughts. I never could get Arch installed, but once it was installed, I'm fine with it now. I'm running it on this machine with 8 gigs ram, 1 TB storage, and 2 cores, or 4 cores, depending on if you look at the system or the package, lol. I don't really get that.

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I like arch but for some reason I can't arch-chroot on the arch talking iso It will not let me arch-chroot on /mnt for some odd reason. I installed on vbox 2 other times but when I went to do it a 3rd time it wouldn't let me arch-chroot. My two fave linux's are Arch and Debian. I like the minimal install when setting up things. I would love to start installing emacspeak on arch. I would also wonder if you could make audio tutorials for emacspeak. I would also like to hear about the firefox for emacspeak. Thanks guys and I look forward to more posts.

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Firefox for Emacspeak? Never heard of that one. If you mean browsing the web, you do that with an Emacs package called EWW. I'm not sure if I can do audio demos, but I'll try.

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Its listed in the packages for emacspeak.

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7 (edited by devinprater 2017-05-17 09:40:11)

You should be able to navigate this tutorial with H and shift+H with your screen reader. This document was put into HTML format, and I'm not sure how well the forum handles that.

Getting Emacspeak working on Linux

This tutorial will be about getting set up with Emacs, and Emacspeak,
    on Linux systems. I encourage readers to share this tutorial
    with any one, in any medium. The source file, a document in
    the Org mode markup style, is available on request, for
    learning to use Org mode, or editing within Emacs.


Downloading Emacs

In most distributions, Emacs comes pre installed. To check, press
    alt+f2, type emacs, press enter. If an error occurs, or
    nothing happened, you don’t have Emacs. If an Emacs window
    pops up, press control+X, then control+C, and you’ll exit it,
    knowing that you do have Emacs. This means that you
    already have Emacs installed, and you can skip the next step
    of installing Emacs. if you don’t have Emacs, look in your
    package manager. In Ubuntu or Debian, do
sudo apt-get install emacs
and see what happens. In Fedora, do
sudo dnf install emacs
In Arch Linux, do
sudo pacman -S emacs
Note the capital S in the pacman command. After that, follow the
    onscreen prompts to install Emacs, if it is not already
    installed.
Now, we can get Emacspeak, which can be done in several ways. First,
    you can try getting it from the package manager, but that
    lends itself to one big problem, that package managers rarely
    tell you where they place the installed files. Sure, you know
    they’re installed, but you need to configure Emacs to work
    with Emacspeak, and to do that, you must know where Emacspeak
    is put. If your manager tells you, or you can figure it out,
    it is safe to install from a package manager. If you don’t
    feel so safe doing that, then we’ll go with the simpler route,
    getting the package from the web site.


Downloading Emacspeak

So, go to the Emacspeak web site, which is at
source forge
Now, head on over to the downloads section, get the latest release,
    wait for it to download. While you wait, explore the Emacspeak
    web site, to get your excitement up.
    When you have the Emacspeak zip/tar file, just unpack it.

For experimenters only!

Here is where paths diverge somewhat. There is another way, a more
    dangerous way, but an easier one, somewhat, than having to go
    get the release version from the site. This way is only for
    experimentation. Try at your own risk.

Open a terminal, and type git clone
    http://www.github.com/tvraman/emacspeak
For those who are following the safe route, continue reading after
    this line.

Making Emacspeak

go to the terminal, type in
        cd emacspeak (tab)
        hopefully that’ll give you something that ends in "/";
        then type
make config
        that will configure Emacspeak for your system.
        Then type
make emacspeak
        That will make the basic emacspeak package for you
        then, choose your synthesizer! eSpeak is free and okay, but
    doesn’t support the more advanced speech capabilities, like
    showing formatting by adjusting the voice quality. Voxin is $5,
    is Eloquence, and supports all of Emacspeak’s speech features.
        Then, according to your choice, type
make espeak
        or
make outloud
        Outloud is Voxin’s name in Emacspeak. Now, type
cd ~/
        which will put you right in your home directory.

Starting Emacs with Emacspeak by default

Emacspeak is an extension to Emacs, the customizable, extensible,
        self-documenting text editor. Basically, that means that
        Emacspeak enables people who rely on speech output to use the
        most powerful editor in the world, according to me and other
        Emacs lovers. To set up Emacs, we need to be in your user
        directory, ~/. Before, we set our directory to that, with cd
        ~/. Now, let’s do a little more work, so that when we start
        Emacs, Emacspeak starts with it, so we don’t have to load it
        manually and silently.
        For setting up our Emacs configuration file, our ".emacs"
        file, we’ll use nano, although you can use gedit, pluma, but
        not Vim! So, from the home directory, type
nano .emacs.el
        This will open a small editor for you to type a little bit of
    text. What you’ll type will make sure that Emacs, the program
    under Emacspeak, will load Emacspeak as it runs. Note that
        you’ll have to copy each line separately to avoid putting in
        the commentary, as that will confuse Emacs if there is plain
        text in the middle.


(load-file "~/emacspeak/lisp/emacspeak-setup.el")
If you want, you can also set your speech synthesizer here, although
        if you only made support for one of them, that one should be
        loaded.
</p>

[setq dtk-program "outloud")

or espeak, whichever one you use. I do recommend Voxin though, as it’s
        snappy and can use Emacspeak’s full potential of speech
        effects, which makes reading very fun and informative. It’s
        like going from black and white with normal screen readers, to
        approaching high definition with Emacspeak’s Aural CSS,
        which is used in web/HTML content, and even in email articles
        when text is italicized and such.


        Then, press control+w to write the file, and control+q to quit
    nano. Now, all you have to do is press alt+f2, type emacs, press
    enter, and you should have Emacs, with Emacspeak, loaded.
Stay tuned for more on using Emacspeak with Emacs. for now, your
    mission is to explore this new world!

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Can I install the Voxin synth from the package manager or is it called outloud?

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At Devin, your html didn't work out so well, i'd recommend putting the tutorial in a separate document and linking to it instead. As for Voxin, you have to buy it first, and then download the tar ball, and run the install script.

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separate document? Oh, on dropbox or something? Yeah, I could do that. Just a second.

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Okay, couldn't get dropbox to give me a link, so I'll paste the ORG file below.
* Getting Emacspeak working on Linux

This tutorial will be about getting set up with Emacs, and Emacspeak,
    on Linux systems. I encourage readers to share this tutorial
    with any one, in any medium. The source file, a document in
    the [[http://orgmode.org][Org mode]] markup style, is available on request, for
    learning to use Org mode, or editing within Emacs.

** Downloading Emacs

In most distributions, Emacs comes pre installed. To check, press
    alt+f2, type emacs, press enter. If an error occurs, or
    nothing happened, you don’t have Emacs. If an Emacs window
    pops up, press control+X, then control+C, and you’ll exit it,
    knowing that you do have Emacs. This means that you
    already have Emacs installed, and you can skip the next step
    of installing Emacs. if you don’t have Emacs, look in your
    package manager. In Ubuntu or Debian, do
sudo apt-get install emacs
and see what happens. In Fedora, do
sudo dnf install emacs
In Arch Linux, do
sudo pacman -S emacs
Note the capital S in the pacman command. After that, follow the
    onscreen prompts to install Emacs, if it is not already
    installed.
Now, we can get Emacspeak, which can be done in several ways. First,
    you can try getting it from the package manager, but that
    lends itself to one big problem, that package managers rarely
    tell you where they place the installed files. Sure, you know
    they’re installed, but you need to configure Emacs to work
    with Emacspeak, and to do that, you must know where Emacspeak
    is put. If your manager tells you, or you can figure it out,
    it is safe to install from a package manager. If you don’t
    feel so safe doing that, then we’ll go with the simpler route,
    getting the package from the web site.

** Downloading Emacs

So, go to the Emacspeak web site, which is at
    [[http://www.emacspeak.sourceforge.net][source forge]]
Now, head on over to the downloads section, get the latest release,
    wait for it to download. While you wait, explore the Emacspeak
    web site, to get your excitement up.
    When you have the Emacspeak zip/tar file, just unpack it.

*** for experimenters! Regular users skip this section!

Here is where paths diverge somewhat. There is another way, a more
    dangerous way, but an easier one, somewhat, than having to go
    get the release version from the site. _This way is only for
    experimentation. Try at your own risk._
Open a terminal, and type git clone
    http://www.github.com/tvraman/emacspeak
For those who are following the safe route, continue reading after
    this line.
** making Emacspeak

go to
    the terminal, type in
        cd emacspeak (tab)
        hopefully that’ll give you something that ends in "/"
        then type
        make config
        that will configure Emacspeak for your system.
        Then type
make emacspeak
        That will make the basic emacspeak package for you
        then, choose your synthesizer! eSpeak is free and okay, but
    doesn’t support the more advanced speech capabilities, like
    showing formatting by adjusting the voice quality. Voxin is $5,
    is Eloquence, and supports all of Emacspeak’s speech features.
        Then, according to your choice, type
        make espeak
        or
        make outloud
        Outloud is Voxin’s name in Emacspeak. Now, type
        cd ~/
        which will put you right in your home directory.

** Configuring Emacspeak to start with Emacs
Emacspeak is an extension to Emacs, the customizable, extensible,
        self-documenting text editor. Basically, that means that
        Emacspeak enables people who rely on speech output to use the
        most powerful editor in the world, according to me and other
        Emacs lovers. To set up Emacs, we need to be in your user
        directory, ~/. Before, we set our directory to that, with cd
        ~/. Now, let’s do a little more work, so that when we start
        Emacs, Emacspeak starts with it, so we don’t have to load it
        manually and silently.
        For setting up our Emacs configuration file, our ".emacs"
        file, we’ll use nano, although you can use gedit, pluma, but
        not Vim! So, from the home directory, type nano .emacs.el
        This will open a small editor for you to type a little bit of
    text. What you’ll type will make sure that Emacs, the program
    under Emacspeak, will load Emacspeak as it runs. Note that
        you’ll have to copy each line separately to avoid putting in
        the commentary, as that will confuse Emacs if there is plain
        text in the middle.

        (load-file "~/emacspeak/lisp/emacspeak-setup.el")

If you want, you can also set your speech synthesizer here, although
        if you only made support for one of them, that one /should/ be
        loaded.

(setq "dtk_program outloud")

or espeak, whichever one you use. I do recommend Voxin though, as it’s
        snappy and can use Emacspeak’s full potential of speech
        effects, which makes reading very fun and informative. It’s
        like going from black and white with normal screen readers, to
        approaching high definition with Emacspeak’s "Aural CSS,"
        which is used in web/HTML content, and even in email articles
        when text is italicized and such.

        Then, press control+w to "write" the file, and control+q to quit
    nano. Now, all you have to do is press alt+f2, type emacs, press
    enter, and you should have Emacs, with Emacspeak, loaded.
Stay tuned for more on using Emacspeak with Emacs. for now, your
    mission is to explore this new world!

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So, to all on this forum, what does your current operating system, for those not running Linux, do for you that Linux doesn't? I want to know, and maybe I can give a way to do it in Linux.

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Mainly gaming. I know i could use wine, but that is hit and miss. I wish orca could OCR an application window like with NVDA. I know there are OCR apps for linux, but i think they are only for documents. One other thing is, i wonder if you could use Libre Office for college course work? I mean, if a teacher uses microsoft office, is there a way to preserve formatting from libre office to word?

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I would love to see NVDA be written for linux that way users coming from windows wouldn't have to relearn how to use a different screen reader if they wanted. Orca is cool because it has a lot more dialogs for things like edit boxes, buttons, and other things on a web page.

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15 (edited by Trenton Goldshark 2017-05-17 07:21:24)

Greetings!

Before we go too far, I wonder if "post 1" could have some links be added, for redirecting the new Linux user to web sites to begin their linux journey, plus web sites to specific blind-friendly distros. Ok, now where were we?

Below is a copy of the "Bulletin Board Code" page, which you can find as a link before the "quick reply" edit box. This is particularly for "post" 7, if Devon wishes to "clean up" the code a bit. smile
NB. There is an "edit" link after a post so you do not have to create a "new" one to "fix" something. Anywhere, here's the text from that "BB Code" page:

Help
Help with BBCode
Administrators have the ability to enable or disable BBCode. If BBCode is enabled a link to BBCode help will appear when you compose/edit a post or your signature. BBCode is a collection of formatting tags that are used to change the look of text in this forum. BBCode is based on the same principal as, and is very similar to, HTML. Below is a list of all the available BBCodes and instructions on how to use them.
Text appearance can be changed with the following tags which can be nested.

Bold text produces
Bold text
Underlined text produces
Underlined text
Italic text produces
Italic text
Red text produces
Red text
Blue text produces
Blue text
Bold, underlined text produces
Bold, underlined text

Heading text

produces
Heading text
You can create links to other documents or to email addresses using the following tags:

AudioGames.net Forum produces
AudioGames.net Forum
http://forum.audiogames.net/ produces
http://forum.audiogames.net/
name@example.com produces
name@example.com
My email address produces
My email address
To quote someone use the quote tag. You can use the quote tag without specifying a name.

James wrote:

This is the text I want to quote.

produces a quote box citing the person being quoted.
James wrote:
This is the text I want to quote.

This is the text I want to quote.

produces a bare quote box.
This is the text I want to quote.
When displaying source code you should make sure that you use the code tag. Text displayed with the code tag will use a monospaced font and will not be affected by other tags. Long items of code will cause the text to scroll.

This is some code.

produces a code box.
This is some code.

This is a long piece of code. This is a long piece of code. This is a long piece of code. This is a long piece of code. This is a long piece of code.

produces a scrolling code box.
This is a long piece of code. This is a long piece of code. This is a long piece of code. This is a long piece of code. This is a long piece of code.
To create a list you can use the list tag. You can create 3 types of lists using the list tag.

  • Example list item 1.

  • Example list item 2.

  • Example list item 3.

produces a bulleted list.
Example list item 1.
Example list item 2.
Example list item 3.

  1. Example list item 1.

  2. Example list item 2.

  3. Example list item 3.

produces a numbered list.
Example list item 1.
Example list item 2.
Example list item 3.

  1. Example list item 1.

  2. Example list item 2.

  3. Example list item 3.

produces an alphabetically labelled list.
Example list item 1.
Example list item 2.
Example list item 3.

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Hi, posts 13 and 14: libre office is compatible with MS Office and vice versa but you have to remember to save in *.doc file... About my environment: I am running Arch Linux on a Mac and it works pretty well. I stopped using Linux. I use my Arch for everything now.

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Okay y'all, I've fixed up the HTML post, so it's easier to follow, with proper headings and such. @13, look into OCRDesktop. This is an OCR program which uses the whole screen, not just a document, although it probably could do that too.

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18 (edited by ambro86 2017-05-17 09:46:46)

Where can I find a guide to install arch Linux in a virtual machine like Vmware and activate the screen reader? Or someone can give me the first hints? Thanks.

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All you would have to do is follow the steps for installing Arch itself, and the screen reader will be installed with Arch. If you are a new Linux user, though, I'd consider Debian.

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Ok, but when I launch the arch installation is possible to activate the screen reader? Is control s like Ubuntu?

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If you get the installation CD from
talkingarch.tk
the screen reader will start automatically.

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Ok thanks, I will try to install Arch. Instead if I use Debian how can I launch the screen reader in installation?

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For Debian, when you here the beep, press the letter s, then enter.

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You can use Antergos, it is heavily based off Arch but more easy to install.
And don't guys update your pamac if you haven't done already. The latest version is broken

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At nuno69, how did you manage to get Antergos installed? I had a hard time with the installer, i got past language selection, then got stuck. Did you just click around until it worked? It reminds me of manjaro's installer.

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