Is Ubuntu Mate more accessible than Linux Mint Xfce?

Hello. I’m currently running Windows 7, alongside Linux mint 18.3 Xfce. I like everything about my Linux system, except that there are several third-party assistive-technology tools, I’m using in Windows, that I can’t find good alternatives for. In Linux speak, I’m noticing that the alternatives that exist are usually referred to as accessibility tools, or universal access features. Ubuntu Mate seems to have the best reputation for this type of accessibility in terms of Linux (something I didn’t realize until after I set up my current system). I’m currently trying to decide whether it’s worth distro hopping. Ubuntu Mate is certainly more accessible than the Cinnamon or Mate editions of Mint, but when I fired Ubuntu Mate up in virtual-box, the available accessibility/universal access features seemed identical between Ubuntu Mate 17.10 and Linux mint 18.3 Xfce. That said, I’m not particularly familiar with Ubuntu or the Mate desktop, so I’m not sure if I’ve given it a fair test. Is Ubuntu Mate more accessible than Linux Mint Xfce? Are there features, tools, or tweaks that I missed in terms of accessibility?

Hi, what features and tools are you after specifically? If they exist and have the same functionality as their Windows counterparts, you should be able to find a package to install regardless of the distribution you use, and especially easy for the likes of Mint and Ubuntu.

Hi @Green_Penguin,

this might help?: :smiley:

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Wow thanks for the quick replies. The biggest thing that I can’t find a replacement/workaround for is Dragon NaturallySpeaking. It’s speech to text software that essentially allows me to type by voice. I also use screen readers (text-to-speech) when dealing with large chunks of text to overcome dyslexia. I feel like I ought to be able to configure orca so that its functionality parallels Zoomtext’s app-reader tool, but I’ve been experimenting with that for a while now, and I haven’t managed to pull it off yet. Although I just made a breakthrough there. I realized I needed to be holding down the “Fn” key in order to get some of the “learn mode” features working. Any thoughts?

There might be something you can use here: :smiley:

Thanks for the info. XVoice seems like it would be the best fit from the options in the list. Unfortunately, the ViaVoice dependencies have been sold to Nuance and don’t seem to be available. However, things get strange; there doesn’t seem to be an official Dragon NaturallySpeaking equivalent offered by nuance for Linux, but there’s a paragraph on one of their webpages that says they offer “speech recognition solutions for Ubuntu”. Looks like I need to give them another call. I did find a clumsy workaround for voice activating and Linux on the XVoice FAQ. If I’m running Ubuntu mate 18.04 in virtual box within Windows, I can have Dragon open in Windows, and use the dictation box function to voice-activate into LibreOffice 6. It gets the job done, but it’s not very efficient.

Total newbie here. I have one Windows based product only that I need to use, and for that I have downloaded Wine. Wine allows me to access this product on Linux and its features are about 90-95% right, certainly good enough for me to use. Just thinking out loud here, Wolfman, but if Green Penguin can’t find what he needs 'naturally, would the option of using Wine to try to use Dragon Naturally Speaking be a potentially good option?


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Thanks for the thought. Rechecked the entry in the wine database, last time I was in there, the only entry was for a really old version of Dragon. Now they’ve got an entry for the new version, but it doesn’t look promising.
If you had success with wine, I would be curious to know how you installed wine and set it up. Last time I experimented with wine, I couldn’t even get it to run something simple, and it didn’t seem to be good for the stability of the overall system. The problem might’ve been the old netbook I was testing it on though. Now that I know how to use virtualbox, I could give it another try on a guest system with some more reasonable specs.

Hey :slight_smile:

Generally, I only manage to get Wine operating with the help of a guy call terzag (one of the local UM gurus, and he is a guru lol). This time he got me to change my winehq repositories to ‘artful’ instead of ‘bionic’ and then following the procedure that is on WineHQ for Ubuntu. If terzag sees this he may even comment with better information as I’m still a real newbie lol. I have been ‘playing’ in ‘live’ mode with other distros and I’ve actually been using Wine3.8 instead of Wine 3.0 (you can choose 3 levels on the WineHQ site, this would probably be the middle one) and that has also worked a treat in ‘live’ mode with my one Windows program.

My Windows program isn’t listed at all with the Wine database, I just download the latest and greatest from the internet and then ‘execute’ this product by right clicking and choosing the Wine Windows Program Loader (or whatever it’s called) and then just follow the prompts. Like I said, it’s not perfect but it is well and truly good enough. That said, the program I use is a very, very simple program and your Dragon program would be a lot more complex.

Good luck!

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Hi Michael,

most certainly Wine will be an option for some, I have only used it (Wine) a couple of times in my life as most of what I do doesn’t require anything else (another/different app)!. :smiley:

Hi @Green_Penguin,

this may be of use to you?: :smiley:

All I can say is LUCKY YOU lol. My primary hobby is as an agility dog
handler/instructor/competitor/judge and there is a program called Clean
Run Course Designer that is only available for download in Windows or
Mac. As far as I’m aware there isn’t another program quite like it. So,
as an instructor/judge who is constantly designing sequences/courses I
kind of need this program lol. Hence my need for Wine and my undying
gratefulness to terzag for helping me get set up!

I guess I just wondered if perhaps Green Penguin could download the
latest program he needs and see if Wine helps him as much as it does me
lol. It was only a thought, and don’t really know if it was a practical
one or not :-).