Installation issues for low vision user

Hello,

I'm a beginner to linux. I'm trying to install Zorin OS Lite on my Dell Inspiron N7110 laptop but am having issues. I'm a low vision person and prefer using a magnifier + high contrast + screen reader in my daily workflow. I've read in the help files that Zorin OS has Orca installed and that it can be run during installation which would be quite useful for me. Unfortunately, I can't seem to start Orca at all. The only way I managed was to open the terminal and run "orca" command which makes it run only in terminal and only until I press CTRL+C. I tries pressing the Super+ALT+S and other key combinations but nothing works.

Any help would be appreciated.

Best regards,

Otoman

Hi Otoman,

Welcome. I am currently downloading Lite to run as a VM to see if there are any shortcuts I can utilise in live mode. If I struggle, I will let you know and advise of an alternative OS. How much RAM is in the machine? is it an i3 or i5 processor?

OK, so I downloaded the Zorin 16 Lite iso and ran in a VM - no joy when starting orca via the command:

orca --setup

The same for devuan_chimaera_4.0.0_amd64_desktop-live.iso

So I had to reboot into Feren OS as I can install Multisystem in Devuan but not run it! So I added the Zorin Lite image to my Multisystem thumb drive that also has the devuan image stated above. With Zorin Lite there was a brief crackle from Orca then nothing. With Devuan live however, running that command gave me Orca's interface with sound from the get go via terminal in live mode. I did not try and run the installer after this point, just wanted to see if orca could run in live mode, and it does. The .iso is half the size of Zorin Lite, 1.2 Gb in size and also runs xfce desktop environment. The email client is 'mutt' which is a terminal based mail client. I think the browser is Chromium - forgot to check while running! If you want to give Devuan a try, the live .iso is available from this link:

https://files.devuan.org/devuan_chimaera/desktop-live/devuan_chimaera_4.0.0_amd64_desktop-live.iso

The full version of devuan - I would opt for 3.1.1 (https://files.devuan.org/devuan_beowulf/installer-iso/devuan_beowulf_3.1.1_i386_desktop.iso) but it is very large at 4 Gb, which comes with the option of screen recorder at point of install (as does 4 but have discovered issues with password creation in gdm (gnome desktop manager) as they have made it essential that systemd is present if using # in the password! - no chance!

Thanks for the detailed response. I managed to run orca without issues on the core version of Zorin, though I would've preferred a lite variant to serve as a thin client for my Proxmox server. Anyway, I think Devuan just wouldn't do. Besides my own curiosity, I'm also looking for a suitable alternative for other blind/low vision users since Windows has really gotten out of hand and is way too expensive and demanding on hardware for what an average user actually uses their computer for. I like most of the visual design in Zorin, it has the best dark theme I've seen so far among several distros, but it needs a bit more touching up in the accessibility department for me to really be sold on it.

The machine has an i3 2330m processor, upgraded to 6 GB of DDR3 RAM and an NVIDIA GT 525m GPU as a secondary. I'd like to note that Zorin Core detected all the hardware really nicely out of the box and the performance is what I would expect, though orca often stutters and becomes unresponsive to my keypresses every once in a while which why I'd like to test the lite version.

If you are looking for the best distro for someone with no sight then for me Devuan IS the answer; from 3.1.1 it has the option to be installed by a blind user with a Braille device e.g., Brilliant, attached and the entire install process has speech throughout. The other plus side to this is a magazine review reported that it does not have pulse audio installed as it would not work with orca. Devuan has many Desktop Environments that can be installed at time of install or later and its default DE is xfce which is exactly the same DE used by Zorin Lite. Before I retired I was a Vision Support Technician, translating texts into Braille and Large Print for low/no-vision users for an Integrated Resource at a Comprehensive School.