Sunday, 21 December 2008

An Introduction to Vinux!

Vinux is a specialised Linux distribution which is designed to be fully accessible to blind and partially sighted users out of the box. Vinux is a customised version of the popular Ubuntu Linux distribution optimised to meet the needs of visually impaired users. Vinux comes in the form of a live CD which you can boot by placing it in a CD drive and restarting your computer. Once it boots a screen-reader is activated, USB Braille displays are automatically detected and full screen magnification can be turned on/off with a simple keystroke. Vinux also provides an attractive visual interface which makes it suitable for sighted, partially sighted and blind users alike. You can navigate the menus and applications using the screen-reader and/or Braille display or switch this support off and use the full screen magnification if required. This is an ideal way of introducing visually impaired users to the Linux operating system which offers a free and open-source alternative to expensive proprietary software. This is very safe and secure way to let you experience Linux and experiment with it without taking any risks or making any changes to your computer. You can continue to use Vinux as a live CD or install it to your hard drive either alongside Windows or as a complete desktop replacement. It is also possible to install and run Vinux from a USB memory stick if your computer supports USB booting.