An Accessible Ubuntu Server installation via Braille Display

Jeffrey Malewski jmlwsk at
Fri May 3 03:26:32 UTC 2013

Hi everyone,
Pawel Loba reports that he was able to sucessfully install Ubuntu Server
12.04 by starting the installation manually, passing parameters to enable
braille support at the boot prompt. I've compiled the steps Pawel used along
with the steps Bill Taylor provided to get speakup running on the installed
system as a "HowTo" guide. I hope this information is helpful to others.
Thank you Bill and Pawel for your contribution:)


Pawel reported that during the installation of Ubuntu Server 12.04 his
braille display began behaving erraticly.
The solution to that is to exit the gui menu and start the installer
manually, passing the appropriate parameters at the  command prompt.

To manually start the installation of Ubuntu server 12.04 perform the
following steps:

1) boot to the Ubutnu Server 12.04 installation CD;

2) After CD stopped spinning, exit the gui menu by pressing the escape key
twice and enter key to confirm that you want to  perform a manual install;

3) At the boot prompt type:
 install text brltty=auto and press enter;  (this will start a manual
install with braille support)

The rest of the installation is displayed on your unit,  just follow the
typical installation screens.

Unfortunately after restarting the system there is no Braille support.
 you will need to install brltty

  sudo apt-get -y install brltty and press enter.

 type your password hit enter and waited till your hd goes silent.

 start brltty:

  brltty -b auto -d usb:

 Install alsa

  sudo apt-get install alsa-utils  

 run   < alsamixer >   #to un-mute sliders oo below sliders , and 50 or more
on slide

 Install espeakup:

 sudo apt-get install espeakup -y >

 Start speakup:

 modprobe speakup_soft start=1

 sh /etc/init.d/espeakup start   

 manually edit /etc/modules to add the line: 

 speakup_soft start=1 

 to ensure speakup starts after shutdown / restarts.

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