Speakup and Orca working together in wheezy, revisited?

Martin McCormick martin at dc.cis.okstate.edu
Thu Apr 12 10:43:09 EDT 2012

	I just did an installation of wheezy using speakup via
the netinst iso cd and speakup works beautifully now on a system
that had no sound at all from either the Debian or Ubuntu
distributions over the last year.

	That is about all the good news I can state for now.

	If I go in to /etc/rc2.d, I can prevent gdm3 from
starting by renaming S21gdm3 to K21gdm3 as according to the
README file. If I do that, the system talks all the way up to
the login sequence.

	I can do the usual command-line shell activities, manage
the system and ssh out to the world as well as receive ssh
connections, but that's about it for now.

	The sound system appears to be in tatters as trying to
do anything with audio lets you hear a catalog of just about
every error that could be generated. Most are about missing
files, errors in reading what files are there and processes not
running or refusing connections. It's a grand mess.

	I installed the mplayer package which did appear to
install, but trying to run it kills all sound including speakup.

	Running gdm3 kills audio and produces a low-pitched beep
about any time you move the cursor arrows.

	I did start an ssh session in to this system while it
was in gdm purgatory. The ssh session went properly so I su'd to
root and went to /etc/rc2.d and typed

./S21gdm3 stop

It did but speakup didn't come back until I went to the second
console and then back to the first one and speakup was fine as
if nothing happened.

	Wheezy, being the testing version is still undergoing a
lot of modification. I did the installation late Saturday night
on April 8 and did an aptitude update and then aptitude
safe-upgrade last night, April 11, and several libraries and
packages were switched out. Unfortunately, none of them had to
do with any of the problems right now so it's still dodgy.

	I could also start gdm3 over the ssh session but the
misbehavior didn't change. It still killed speakup on the target
system and produced lots of syslog errors about missing or
damaged files.

	gdm obviously does not crash or lockup the system, but I
don't think it is actually running but is in some state of angst
because of the errors it is displaying. I think the same is true
for alsa and pulseaudio. I think that gdm should start and one
should still have speakup running but right now, speakup goes
away and will come back when gdm stops and you go to another
console and then back.

	These problems are probably effecting many user
communities, not just speakup users, so I expect many of the
worst troubles will be solved sooner rather than later.

	Finally, if one runs amixer, there is a long pause, a
spew of errors from C modules related to distressed or missing
files, and finaly a puny 2 or 3 parameters about the sound card
that look suspissious at best.

	With all that, I am truly amazed that speakup now seems
as solid as a rock even if nothing else is working quite yet.


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