Recently, the creators of BackTrack released a great distro named Kali Linux. It is a very useful tool in the hands of security researchers and penetration testing professionals. However, it was not primarily developed keeping in mind the requirements of differently enable people like those who are visually impaired or blind.
However, this did not fade away the spirit of such differently enabled individuals and enthusiastics. Recently two such differently enabled security professionals approached the creator of Kali Linux and put forward a very different perspective. They mentioned that Kali Linux had no built-in accessibility features. This made Kali difficult, if not impossible, to both install and use from a blind or visually impaired user’s perspective.
Kali Linux creators tried to build in this accessibility feature in the distro but the first attempt failed to materialise. However, the developers did not loose their faith and kept on working in this direction.
On a deeper analysis it was found that there were several upstream GNOME Display Manager (GDM3) bugs in Debian, which prevented these accessibility features from functioning with the GDM greeter. Working together with an upstream GNOME developer, the creator of Kali Linux achieved a landmark achievement. They not only fixed the bugs but also implemented these changes in the Kali. To make the Kali installation accessible as well, they have added a new “accessibility” boot option that triggers the speech engine during the installation process.
The developers have also added a new “Live Desktop” installer and have released a new version of Kali Linux that has these accessibility features built-in. To activate the speech assisted installer, press “S” at boot time, and hit enter.