State of accessibility on BSD systems

Gregory Nowak greg at
Mon Sep 22 15:26:27 EDT 2008

Hash: SHA1

On Mon, Sep 22, 2008 at 03:49:47AM -0700, Tony Baechler wrote:
> OK, I was unclear obviously.  What you say is correct in most cases that  
> an emulator interface has nothing to do with the guest OS.  However, at  
> least when I played with Bochs a long time ago, Bochs was different.  If  
> you didn't need graphics, you could set it to only use a curses  
> interface for the emulated OS and it worked.

Yes, this was even true for installing/running win95/wineyes back when
I tried it. The biggest problem I found here was the lack of keyboard
usability, (I.E. the tab key, the win/menu keys, ETC.), but that's a
different story. 

> It comes with a sample 10  
> MB Linux disk image.  If you tell it to not use a GUI but to run the  
> image with the curses interface, you have a very minimal emulated Linux  
> system.  There isn't a lot you can do with it, but I verified that it in  
> fact worked.  I tried with other images but didn't get anywhere.  Maybe  
> that has changed but it used to work.

I never tried the provided images. I just made an hd image, and tried
a clean install of win95 on it.

> Being that there was no GUI, I  
> don't think it was that slow but I don't remember.

You might have been running bochs on a system with higher specs than
mine. I was running it at the time on a 600 MHz pentium III system,
with 256 megs of RAM, and I don't recall how much swap. Even so,
whether or not you used a gui wouldn't have mattered much I don't
think in terms of speed. As I said, speed depends on the goal of the
bochs project, which is to emulate every single x86 instruction,
rather than letting the native cpu do some of the work. This approach
makes sense if you want to for example run windows, an x86 OS on a non
x86 arch, like Sun sparc for example.

>>> NetBSD  claims to run on anything including the Vax so I'm sure it 
>>> has a text  installer that could run in an emulator.

Yeah, in an emulator, or a physical machine.

> Huh?  Yes, the ports collection builds everything from source but you  
> can download precompiled packages as well, at least on FreeBSD.

- From all of my research, you could get only the base system as
binaries on netbsd. If there were binary builds for everything else
besides that, I never found where you could get them from, and I did
look all over the netbsd repos, like you suggested. Maybe this has
changed now, but it was certainly true as far as I could tell, back
when I was running netbsd. Also, it's probably not a good idea to
assume that just because freebsd has something, that netbsd will have
it too, (I'm referring specifically to binary packages here). There
are reasons for why one is called freebsd, and the other is called
netbsd, rather than being the same os identically, right down to the
last detail. I can't speak
for freebsd, I never tried it.

> The  
> dependency tracking isn't the best but it wasn't that bad.  I would  
> check again, replacing XX with your country  
> code.

Thanks for the suggestion, but I blew away my netbsd install about a
year or more ago now, and don't plan to bring it back in the near future.


- -- 
web site:
gpg public key:
skype: gregn1
(authorization required, add me to your contacts list first)

- --
Free domains: or mail dns-manager at
Version: GnuPG v1.4.9 (GNU/Linux)


More information about the Speakup mailing list