Thursday, 26 March 2009

Vinux 1.4 Released!

I have just released the new edition of Vinux. It contains several significant improvements over previous releases. These include improved security: Unlike previous versions Vinux 1.4 has been built from scratch using the Ubuntu 'mini.iso' 10MB network installation which means it contains all of the latest packages and security patches as of the day of release. The addition of an Audible Boot Prompt: The Live CD now sounds the system bell three times when the boot prompt appears on the screen, which then gives you thirty seconds to type in any cheatcodes or boot options you require. e.g. typing 'textonly' will boot into console only mode, you can then type 'yasr' to start a console based screen-reader. Support for serial Braille displays: The Live CD now supports a wide variety of serial Braille displays in edition to the automatic detection of USB Braille displays. In order to use a serial Braille display or a USB Braille display with a different language table you simply have to type in a short code at the boot prompt. e.g. 'alde' for an Alva Serial display using the German language table, or 'alude' for an Alva USB display using the German language table. There is a full list of cheatcodes included in the 'cheatcodes_braille_displays.txt' on the CD. By default Vinux supports USB Braille displays using the en_uk language table. A talking login screen: Once installed espeak will now ask you to enter your username and password when the login screen is loaded providing you do not enable autologin during the installation process. It will not however echo what you type, but if you enter the wrong username and/or password you will be asked to enter them again. It is important that you should not enable autologin if you are using a wifi connection as the keyring manager workaround detailed below depends upon a manual login to work! A workaround for the Keyring Manager bug: Vinux now includes a workaround of sorts for the keyring manager which is currently inaccessible with Orca. We have set up a pre-configured keyring password 'vinux' which is retained on both the Live CD and an full install. This means that when you try to connect to a wifi network Orca stops speaking when the keyring manager password dialog box opens. Now you simply have to type 'vinux' into this box and as long as autologin is not enabled you will never have to enter the keyring password again. A fix for the Lynx startup bug: Lynx, Netrik and Firefox now use a local copy of the homepage as their starting URL's by default which means that you can open the broswers without problems whether you have an active internet connection or not. And finally I have added menu entries for some of the new Console Applications: This is to enable beginners who may not know the names of these applications or their way around the console to find and experiment with them more easily.