Some answers to frequently asked questions:
Will the Oralux CD modify my hard disk?
Oralux can work without hard disk if your PC has sufficient
RAM. It is expected to work without modifying your hard disk.
However, the CD can automatically use the swap partition already
present in the hard disk.
And if the user created a persistent storage on her hard disk
using the Oralux audio menu, then it will be automatically used by
Oralux at next boot.
Which are the minimal hardware requirements?
The CD works using a Pentium 200 Mhz with 128 MB of RAM.
Less RAM is possible too; a swap partition could be needed though.
Checking the downloaded iso file 
How can I check that my iso file downloaded correctly?
Important note: Make sure that you download the ISO in binary mode
(FTP). By default, Netscape downloads the file in ASCII mode, which
corrupts the image.
If the download fails, you can use "Resume" which allows you to
continue the download. This works with wget, ftp (reget), ncftp,
CuteFTP, Getright, ...
Once the download is complete, you can check the integrity of the
ISO file by using the md5 key. Please download md5sum.exe and the Oralux md5sum beforehand for this purpose.
The Oralux md5sum should be placed in the same directory as the iso file.
In a shell terminal, type:
md5sum -c Oralux_0.7-alpha.md5
Burning the Oralux CD from the downloaded iso file 
Burning the CD under MS-Windows
Any CD-Writing package can burn ISO images directly to a CD-Rom.
Easy CD Creator
- Open Easy CD Creator.
- Go to the "File" menu.
- Select "Create CD from disc image".
- In the file selection dialogue, make sure to change the bottom combo box ("Files of type:") to "ISO image files".
- The programme will do the rest after you browse to the required iso file.
Thanks to Zacheyer.
Click the "New" button and select a "track-image" project. So long
as you are in track mode, and not file-system mode, dragging a track
image file onto the CD window should make the programme accept it as a
raw track. WinOnCD uses .RAW as its own extension.
Thanks to Rick Jones.
Nero Burning Rom
- Open Nero.
- Close the wizard if it automatically starts.
- select "Burn Image...".
- then to "Burn Image...".
- In the next dialog, click on "Image Files (*.nrg)" and select "All files (*.*)".
- Browse to the .iso file and accept the selection.
- In the following dialog, make sure that the following parameters are set as follows:
- Type of Image is: Data Mode 1
- Block size: 2048
- Image header: 0
- Image trailer: 0
- All the checkboxes are unchecked.
- Click "OK".
- In the next dialog, check that the "write" and "finalize" options are active.
- Click on "Write".
Thanks Antonio Asensi.
Burning the CD under GNU/Linux
First, determine your cd writer's SCSI target. Type:
cdrecord dev=ATAPI -scanbus
If the SCSI target is 0,0,0 and the speed 8x, type:
cdrecord -v -eject speed=8 -pad dev=ATAPI:0,0,0 oralux.iso
How do I start Oralux?
Your PC will boot up the CD automatically if the BIOS is set up to
do so. The BIOS needs to be set so that the CD ROM will be checked for
a bootable CD before booting from a fixed medium, e.g. the operating
system on your hard disk.
Another option is to boot up from a floppy which will start the Oralux CD. Batch files for creating such a floppy are available on the Oralux CD in the /Knoppix directory.
Why the 30 second delay before Oralux starts?
When the PC boots up the CD, the following input command line is
displayed for a few seconds:
Using this command line, you may enter a number of boot parameters, including the type of your braille terminal. The expected keywords are known as "cheat codes".
If no key is pressed within 30 seconds, Oralux automatically starts. To start Oralux immediately, simply press "enter" at the "boot:" prompt.
What will I hear at the very beginning?
If everything works correctly, you will hear the Oralux mascot, Cocoralux, singing. This is followed by a beep.
If there is no sound, there are several possible causes such as:
- there are a sound card and an onboard audio chip. A solution is to set up the bios to disable the onboard audio chip.
- your sound device detection failed; you might be able to
fix this by booting again and providing the relevant cheat code.
- the volume may need to be increased.
Which are the possible desktops?
Oralux 0.7 alpha offers three desktops: Emacspeak, an environment based on YASR, and Speakup.
You may want to select the desktop using the audio menu.
How do I increase the sound volume?
Once the cock stops singing, Oralux beeps. You can then change the sound volume:
- To increase the volume, press the Enter key.
- To decrease the volume, press the Space key.
- And any other key to go to the next stage.
But there is no sound!
Reboot your PC using the oss cheat code.
When no code is supplied, the alsa drivers are used.
By supplying the oss keyword, the OSS drivers will be loaded, hoping that they will be able to drive your sound device.
Type the following command line at boot time:
How do I change the sound volume under Emacspeak?
There are a number of methods to change the volume. Here is one:
ESCAPE ! aumix -v 50
This means: press the ESCAPE key, then the ! key, then type "aumix -v 50".
50 is a middle range value. You may choose any value from 0 (silence) to 100.
ESCAPE ! opens an input line, where a command line is expected. This command
line could be compared to MSDOS, but this is a shell (more powerful).
Here the command line is simply:
aumix -v 50
This command calls the aumix mixer and sets the volume to 50.
Is Oralux able to drive a braille terminal?
Yes, thanks to BRLTTY.
Your braille display can be selected using the audio menu.
Or at boot time, use the "cheat code" brltty.
What is a "cheat code"?
This is a keyword (parameter) which is supplied at boot time to help select or set up drivers required by your particular system.
With experience, you will discover which cheat codes are required for your PC.
These keywords are typed or automatically supplied using a boot floppy configured with the necessary custom settings.
At boot time, for 30 seconds, this prompt is displayed: "boot:".
You may want to type e.g.
"cheat code" list
The list is on the CD under /KNOPPIX/oralux-cheatcodes.txt.
When is it a good idea to boot from a boot floppy?
Usually, the PC boots up the Oralux CD automatically.
In some cases, a few PC's can't boot up from the CD ROM or setting up the BIOS correctly is a difficult operation for the user.
A boot floppy can also be convenient, since it can be set up to supply Oralux with the required cheat codes automatically, saving the user the effort of having to type them at each boot.
How do I create a boot floppy?
sbm.bat is a batch MS DOS file which can create the boot floppy (using Smart Boot Manager).
This file is in the CD in the tools/cd-boot directory.
Insert a floppy disk and type:
dd if=/cdrom/tools/cd-boot/sbm.img of=/dev/fd0 bs=18k
Which voice synthesizers are included on the CD?
The CD can speak in six languages thanks to the following voice
- Brazilian Portuguese
- Brazilian Portuguese with ttpport by Cassio Santos and
al (Alistair D. Conkie, Eduardo Reis, Luis Alves) and the br1
MBROLA database by Denis R. Costa
- Flite is a free English Text-To-Speech (TTS) software synthesizer (Carnegie Mellon University).
- Freephone by Steve Isard and Alistair Conkie.
- Enlex the English phonetizer maintained by Igor
- Cicero TTS, by Nicolas Pitre and Stephane Doyon.
- Lliaphon by the Biglux team
- MBROLA databases such as the fr4 MBROLA database by
- txt2pho by Thomas Portele
- The de6 MBROLA database by Dr Marc Schroeder
author Igor B. Poretsky is a Russian TTS.
- Thanks to a software by the IrcHa team.
- The es1 MBROLA database (originally created by
Alistair D. Conkie and al).
Several voice synthesizers are based on MBROLA (Thierry Dutoit, Universite de Mons).
Multispeech by Igor B. Poretsky is an Emacspeak speech server available in six languages.
Speech Dispatcher by Freebsoft is a common
interface to speech synthesis.
Speechd-up by Freebsoft gives the possibility to use the
Speakup screen reader
What is the DECtalk software?
If you bought the DECtalk software, Oralux might be able to install it from your hard disk.
DECtalk is available in several languages and especially in French.
Obviously, we have no financial interest in promoting the
How do I install the DECtalk software?
In order for Oralux to find your DECtalk package, you will have to create a directory on one of your partitions. An NTFS partition should be avoided, since Oralux currently cannot write to an NTFS partition. If you place the package on a NTFS partition, the DECtalk serial number will be requested at each boot.
The expected directory name is dtk (all lower cases).
This directory must be at the highest level of the tree in the partition.
E.g. if /dev/hda1 is mounted on /var, Oralux will succeed to find
/var/dtk but will fail with /var/foo/dtk .
Place your DECtalk package in your dtk directory: its expected name is something like linux...tar.gz
If you have a second DECtalk package, please place it there too. Oralux can install the French, Castillan Spanish or German optional package too.
Can Oralux drive an external synthesizer?
Oralux includes several drivers for the external synthesizers
which can be used under Emacspeak or Speakup.
If your sound card works under Oralux, you can set your preferences using the audio menu.
For example, you will select your external synthesizer in a list.
My sound card does not work, how to use
an external synthesizer with Emacspeak ?
The tts cheatcode
For example, the following line entered at boot time, starts Emacspeak with DoubleTalk LT:
By default, the synthesizer is supposed to be plugged into the first serial port (ttyS0).
To select the second serial port, you may want to enter :
Here is the list of the included drivers for Emacspeak.
First, there is the cheatcode keyword for the tts cheatcode, then the synthesizer name.
- accent: Accent SA
- braillenspeak: Braille Lite, Braille 'n Speak, Type 'n Speak
- ciber: Ciber 232, Ciber 232 Plus
- dtk-exp: DECtalk Express
- dtk-mv: DECtalk Multivoice, DECtalk 3
- apollo: Dolphin Apollo
- doubletalk: DoubleTalk LT, LiteTalk
- doubletalkpc: DoubleTalk PC
- pchablado: PC Hablado notebook
How to start my external synthesizer for Speakup ?
The speakup_synth cheatcode
At the boot prompt, for selecting the doubletalk lite driver, please type:
cheatcode for external synthesizers (from spkguide.txt)
- acntsa -- Accent SA
- acntpc -- Accent PC
- apolo -- Apolo
- audptr -- Audapter
- bns -- Braille 'n Speak
- dectlk -- DecTalk Express (old and new, db9 serial only)
- decext -- DecTalk (old) External
- dtlk -- DoubleTalk PC
- keypc -- Keynote Gold PC
- ltlk -- DoubleTalk LT, LiteTalk, or external Tripletalk (db9 serial only)
- spkout -- Speak Out
- txprt -- Transport
Note: Speakup does * NOT * support usb connections! Speakup also does *
NOT * support the internal Tripletalk!
How do I set the speech rate under Emacspeak?
To change the rate of the speech:
C-e d 1
1 = very slow rate,
C-e d 9
9 = very fast rate.
Experiment with numbers between 1 and 9 to find the speech rate that suits you best.
Note: C-e means: press and hold the CONTROL key and press the e key. Release both keys. Press the d key, then press 9.
All Emacspeak commands start with C-e. d is related to the speech server (the first one was the DECtalk).
Permanently saving your preferences and documents
How do I save my preferences?
You will probably wish to save the volume, the type of keyboard, and any other preferences set using the introductory menu, as well as other files for example, the Internet parameters....
Idem for the other files as for example the Internet parameters.
Saveconfig is able to save these files to the hard disk, a floppy disk or a USB key,...
During all subsequent boots, these parameters will be automatically searched for and loaded.
Here is the sequence under Emacspeak
saveconfig can be automatically launched from the audio menu (the
"persistent storage" item).
How do I save my documents?
The directory where you can easily store your documents is /home/knoppix.
By default, this directory is in ramdisk. Note: As soon as your computer is turned off, the directory will be lost!
In fact, if you want to, the /home/knoppix directory can be stored in an 'image' on your hard disk or a USB key.
At the next boot, this image will be automatically searched.
This image can be created automatically from the audio menu (the
"persistent storage" item)
How do I shutdown my PC?
First, quit Emacspeak using C-x C-c
or quit the YASR or Speakup menu using the Escape key.
Then, the audio menu will offer to shutdown the PC
And about reboot?
First, quit Emacspeak using C-x C-c or quit the YASR or Speakup menu.
Then, using the audio menu, reboot the PC.
Or press the three magical keys Control Alt
How do I install Oralux on a hard disk?
The real installation on hard disk is a future feature.
Nevertheless, knoppix-installer is available, at your own risk, for installing the CD on hardisk. Check the mailing list please for up-to-date informations.
Another option is to copy the Oralux compressed file from the CD to the hard disk on any vfat or ext2 partition (but not a ntfs one). Less than 700 MBytes will be used. Oralux running from a hard disk will behave just as it did on CD: it won't be possible to add or update new programs. This may also be an advantage.
The two distinct stages to this operation are:
- Create a KNOPPIX directory. This directory should be at the
highest level of the partition's tree: e.g. with MS-Windows, C:\KNOPPIX
is correct, C:\MyFolder\KNOPPIX is not correct.
- Copy the file KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX from the Oralux CD to the new directory.
The Oralux CD or a boot floppy will be required to boot Oralux from the hard disk.
Is there a mailing list for this project?
Yes! Here are
our recent archives, and
the older ones.
This is mostly a bilingual list (English-French).
To subscribe, visit the list info page.
Why a cock as logo?
That's right, the Oralux logo is a cock singing in front of the
The cock's song recalls the word Oral and as the cock sings at
rising dawn, it recalls Lux which means Light.
And it's not an anonymous rooster: this is Cocoralux!
Just a few words, if you are not yet familiar with the Emacs syntax C-x or
C-x means: hold down the
Control key and press x, then release them both.
M is the so called META key which is the left ALT key on most keyboards.
M is also the Escape key. However, the Escape key is not held down while the following key is pressed.
The Emacs and Emacspeak documentation are mostly in the Info
format. This format structures the documentation, and allows the
reader to go from node to node. To quickly learn the few Info
commands, just press C-h i
Here is how to access the Emacspeak documentation
- C-h i m Emacspeak
- The Emacspeak Info pages.
- C-e F
- Emacspeak FAQ.
- C-h C-e
- Displays a list of standard Emacspeak commands.
- C-e C-h
- Emacspeak learning mode: enters a mode in which the
function of every key that you type is spoken; this mode can be
terminated with the `C-g' `keyboard-quit' command.
- The Emacspeak mailing list
- And particularly its archives.
- C-h i m emacs
- The Emacs editor
- C-h i m emacs FAQ
- Emacs FAQ
- C-h t
- The online tutorial.
- C-h a
- A propos: display the Emacs commands which match with the supplied text.
- C-h k
- Display documentation of the function invoked by the supplied keys sequence.
The speakup website is
Visit please our online document index for up-to-date info.
The sections "Checking the downloaded iso file" and "Burning the Oralux CD from the downloaded file" come
from the Morphix website which gathered them from the Mandriva Readme (which gathered them from...) and have been slightly edited.