Re: [orca-list] classic gnome look and feel in Ubuntu 11.10 revisited

Hi Alex,

thanks i 've used your describition on ubuntu precise and it worked too.


Am 17.02.2012 15:52, schrieb Alex Midence:
Thanks, Krishnakant.  I'm glad you found it clear and easy to
understand.  There's one thing I discovered last night which I may as
well mention here.  Last night, I installed kde on my ubuntu 11.10
installation.  I will speak of what a nice time I had exploring many
of the very cool qt apps I messed with like Amarok, dragon player,
kmixer Dolphin and later.  For now, I wanted to mention that speakup
doesn't seem to like it if you bring it up after you've brought up a
gnome or x session in general.  It works best if you bring it up
before logging into your x session.  I don't know why this is though I
strongly suspect pulse audio is at the bottom of this.  The reason
this is important on an orca list is that, I found that after I
installed kubuntu-desktop, my gnome terminal was suddenly
inaccessible.  I can't have that.  I must have a command line
environment that I can work in.  Console just got more important.  I'm
also going to install emacspeak on this desktop testing installation
of mine.  Emacs' e-shell with emacspeak will probably be less
tempramental than speakup and I can run it within x.

Alex M

On 2/17/12, hackingKK<hackingkk gmail com>  wrote:
Hi Alex,
Very good work.
Although I have not tryed it as yet, I feel it is clear as day light to me.
If there was an award for documentation excellence and if I was the
judge then you would have had it.
Happy hacking.

On 14/02/12 21:09, Alex Midence wrote:
Hi, all,

I wanted to share what I believe is the most fool-proof guaranteed and
painless method to date for setting up Oneiric to run from a classic
gnome desktop without having to remember long strings of digits and
without worrying if settings will save properly.  It is a bit involved
but, I don't think it's anything too hard to take in.  I also think
it's totally worth it to get a reliably accessible and up to date
production system.  You be the judge.

In a nutshell, we're going to grab espeakup, start it up, install the
gnome package and edit some textfiles.  Then, we're going to toss
lightdm out the proverbial window to the accompaniment of joyous and
semi-deranged cacling laughter.  (note, this last bit is totally
optional but very therapeutic.)  Oh, yeah, I'm assuming you have a
copy of Ubuntu 11.10 already installed and talking with Unity 2d to
start all this out from.  How to get that up and running is a subject
covered in other very nice how-tos you can easily find with a bit of
googling.  Anyway, here we go:

1.  Your first apt-gets.  Open a gnome terminal with control alt t.
Save yourself some typing and get a root prompt with sudo -i and your
passowrd.  Now, here's what to apt-get:

apt-get update
apt-get install espeakup gnome

2.  You will get a debconf dialog about what display manager you want.
   Hit enter for ok and arrow until you are sure you are on the lightdm
selection.  We're not ready for gdm yet.

3.  Back on our root prompt, we need to add a repository and get some
more packages that assist with getting the look and feel right for

add-apt-repository ppa:jconti/gnome3
apt-get update
apt-get install indicator indicator-complete

4.  Time to wrestle with speakup.  Hit control d to get rid of your
root prompt in gnome and then hit control alt f1 to bring you to the
console.  Wait a couple of breaths and then type your user name and
press enter.  After that, type your password and press enter.  You
will get no speech while this is happening so, either Shanghai a
friendly sightie or keep your fingers crossed.

5.  Ok, let's make sure espeak will work in this environment.  Type
espeak and press enter.  Then, type the word hello.  Any word will do
eally and press enter.  If Espeak says what you typed, your
synthesizer works and you can hit control d to close the process down
and get back to your prompt.

6.  We need a root prompt again so, still in the console, type sudo -i
and hit enter.  Punch in your password and hit enter again.  Now, the
fun begins.

7.  We need to tell Linux to load speakup which is already available
in Ubuntu as of Natty.  It also needs to be told to load itself up
with a software synthesizer.  Here's the rather obscure and
unintuitive command to do it:

modprobe speakup_soft start=1

Weird, huh?  Ok, now, we need to tell Espeakup to get down to business.

8.  type espeakup and press enter.  Wait a few breaths and then hit
your down arrow.  If all went well, you will hear your root prompt.
If it doesn't talk, reboot your system and don't log in to x.  Hit
control alt f1 to get into your console right off the bat and repeat
the steps to get speakup going again.  Don't forget to tell espeak to
talk before you get to your root prompt.  It seems to like it that
way.  Also, don't expect it to boot up talking with this procedure.  I
haven't figured out how to do that yet and speakup will always be
shaky until you fix your pulse audio.  It works jsut as well for our
purposes though.

9.  Assuming you have a talking speakup, it's time to do what we set
out to do and get gnome going.  This is done by first editing some
textfiles with nanno.

cd /etc/lightdm/
nano lightdm.conf

Arrow to the line that allows you to specify your x-session and
replace ubuntu-2d with gnome-classic and then hit control x to exit
and y for yes to save it.  Press enter to make sure it's the same file
as before.

10.  We have another file to edit.  Note the capitals in this
directory it's in.  Also, the file's name is the same as your username
when you log into the system.  The example below is for a username of

cd /var/lib/AcountService/users
nano george

Once inside this file, change the x-session to gnome-classic just like
you did in lightdm.conf, exit and save.

11.  Ok, you are ready to test it out.  Back at your root prompt type
reboot and press enter and wait a bit.  Log in as you normally would
do so to unity 2-d by typing in your username and password.  This
time, though, with a bit of luck, you are getting onto a gnome session
that is going to have the look and feel of gnome 2 but you'll really
be running gnome 3 and corresponding applications.  If Orca doesn't
come up for you by default, hit alt f2 and type it in or hit control
alt t for a terminal and type in its name.  You may have to set it up
all over again for Gnome instead of Unity.  If all has gone well up to
this point, you can now get gdm back instead of lightdm.  It's nice
because you actually hear drums when it's time to log in with it.

12.  From a gnome terminal, get a root prompt with sudo -i and type in
your passwowrd.  Now, from the root prompt, type:

   dpkg-reconfigure gdm

you'll have the debconf dialog you got when you installed the gnome
package earlier but this time, you will tel it you want gdm and not

You should be all set.  All you have to do now is alt f1 to the gnome
menu and find the shutdown button to restart your machine.  Gdm will
play a little drum roll when it's time to type in your user name.
Congratulations, you  now have an accessible system you can use for
production.  You can always switch back to unity if you want it by
editing the lightdm.conf and your user file in

Before I close, I'd like to back up a bit and talk about a possible
snafu you may encounter.  For some reason something happened to my
speech dispatcher configuration during all of this.  I made mistakes
like not matching the text files choice for the x-sessions and finding
myself in unity 3d which is not accessible without tweaking.  When I
got out of there, I had to do a spd-conf from the console using
speakup.  If you find you have to do this, do an rm -r of your
./speech-dispatcher directory in your home folder and start over from
scratch with spd-conf.  It took me a few tries to figure that out.
After you get it set up, ron the orca console setup utility with orca
-s and reboot.  Having said all this, I don't think you wil run into
this if you follow my isntructions above and make sure the x-sessions
selected in your text files match.  I'm mentioning it just in case.

Good luck and I hope you found this very long and drawn out posting
useful and understandable.

Alex M
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orca-list mailing list
orca-list gnome org
Visit for more information on Orca.
The manual is at
The FAQ is at
Log bugs and feature requests at
Find out how to help at

viele Grüße

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