Orca Screen Reader
Using the Orca Screen Reader in Kicksecure Virtual Machines
...a free, open source, flexible, and extensible screen reader that provides access to the graphical desktop via user-customizable combinations of speech and/or braille. Orca works with applications and toolkits that support the assistive technology service provider interface (AT-SPI), which is the primary assistive technology infrastructure for the Solaris and Linux operating environments.
This documentation has been written by a sighted developer without the input of a blind person for testing purposes. Therefore some written advice might be incorrect, such as instructions concerning the use of
orca. To accomplish that, the following steps A. to D. need to be done.
A. Update the package lists.
sudo apt update
B. Upgrade the system.
sudo apt full-upgrade
C. Install the
sudo apt install --no-install-recommends orca
The procedure of installing
orca is complete.
Orca (or any other) screenreader must already be functional on the host operating system. This is unrelated to Kicksecure and outside the scope of this documentation. The user should be familiar and comfortable with the host screenreader.
It is also recommended to learn VirtualBox basics outside of any reference to Kicksecure; that is, using VirtualBox with any other operating system. Otherwise, any blind users simultaneously utilizing VirtualBox and Kicksecure for the first time might face serious challenges.
These instructions have not tested whether the VirtualBox host user interface is itself accessible; this functionality is out of scope.
Orca was only recently integrated into Kicksecure, therefore support for using Orca in combination with Tor Bridges is not perfect yet -- please post a feature request if that is desirable. Bridge users should refer to the footnote for a workaround. 
1. Agree to Kicksecure legal terms.
2. Start Kicksecure using the VirtualBox host user interface normally.
Depending on system performance it can take up to three minutes or more until Kicksecure starts, although on fast machines it boots much quicker. On a reasonable fast developer machine, booting either Kicksecure or Kicksecure took approximately 30 seconds.
One issue is that there is no audio feedback when the boot process finishes. This is an optimization problem because Kicksecure was originally designed with privacy in mind. Most Kicksecure users would not want to reveal they are using the platform or otherwise signal they are using an operating system via an audio notification which might be noisy depending on host audio settings.
3. Wait for the boot process to finish.
4. Start the Xfce application finder.
Press the following keys in combination.
5. Use the
easo is spelled
o. This is an easy to type abbreviation for easyorca. 
easo utility  has several effects.
- Sets volume inside the virtual machine to 50%. 
- Starts the Orca screen reader.
- Legally accepts Kicksecure binary license agreement.
- Legally accepts Kicksecure disclaimer.
- Disables autostart of
- Enables Orca autostart. 
- Enables the
orca-kill-at-shutdown.servicesystemd service. 
- Starts Tor connections which results in Tor connecting to the Tor public network. 
Type on the keyboard.
And press the
6. Wait 10 seconds.
This allows Orca startup and the initial Orca setup to finish.
7. Wait for notification.
There should be an audio notification from Orca stating "screenreader on" -- the initial setup of Orca is complete.
At this time there is no need to re-run the
easo utility after next boot. Orca will automatically start after next reboot, followed by an audio notification: "screenreader on".
8. Optional: run systemcheck.
systemcheck is recommended, see: systemcheck.
The Orca screen reader is tested as functional in the following applications (non-exhaustive list):
- Xfce start menu
- Xfce application finder
- Most common browsers like Firefox, TorBrowser..etc
There are several limitations at present:
setup-wizard-dist(GUI) does not work. Use
setup-distCLI on the command line instead. 
- Anon Connection Wizard does not work. This is normally not an issue for public Tor network users, but those requiring bridges could configure these on the command line as documented on the Bridges page.
systemcheckGUI (previously called
systemcheck) does not work. Use
systemcheckCLI on the command line instead.  See also: systemcheck.
- Repository Dist Wizard (GUI) does not work. If needed, use
repository-dist(CLI) instead as documented here.
1. Start Xfce application finder.
Press these keys in combination.
2. Launch a terminal.
3. Enable Orca autostart.
After reboot, Orca should now automatically start. Once the boot process finishes and Orca has started there will be an audio notification.
setup-dist-noninteractive is a tool to non-interactively use
setup-dist. Menu option
1 enables Tor which results in accessing the public Tor network unless the user previously manually configured Bridges.
If required, run this command on both Kicksecure and Kicksecure only.
dsudo setup-dist-noninteractive 1
The following package dependencies are installed:
libatk-adaptor libgail-common- required for Xfce settings menu screen reader support
non-qubes-audio- required for adding audio support to Kicksecure
gstreamer1.0-plugins-good- missing dependency in Debian buster
speech-dispatcher-espeak-ng- required for
sound-icons- this package might be optional
As at April 2021 the following issues are unresolved:
- run orca as systemd user service / shutdown takes a long time with orca enabled.  Worked around using
orca-kill-at-shutdown.servicesystemd service. 
- --debug (or new option) write to console (stdout (and/or stderr))
The following issues have been resolved:
- issues on Kicksecure ™ host: orca not starting - TIMEOUT: something has hung. Aborting.
- orca --replace should not kill script which is starting it
- ctrl + c does not terminate orca - AttributeError: module 'signal' has no attribute 'strsignal'
dsudoallows commands to be run as root without entering a password, so long as the default password has not been changed.
- First disable the host internet connection and follow these steps:
Reconnect host internet connection→
Make sure host internet connection is functional→
Restart Tor or reboot Kicksecure if not connected yet.
It could not be named easyorca for technical reasons; avoiding the letter y inside
easocircumvents issues relating to English versus German keyboard layouts. See: orca --replace should not kill script which is starting it.
By running command
amixer set Master 50%.
50%was arbitrarily chosen and is hopefully not too quiet / noisy. It can be regulated using the host operating system or physical speaker volume control.
sudo setup-distin a terminal.
systemcheckin a terminal.
- This command uses
sudobecause commands can be run as root without entering a password, so long as the default password has not been changed. For blind users this is likely far simpler than using
sudoand typing the password, especially during the initial setup. See: dsudo for further information.