Introduction to Orca

Orca enables users with limited vision, or no vision, to use the GNOME desktop and applications effectively. It provides a number of features, including magnification, focus tracking, braille output, automatic screen reading and more.

Package Information

Orca Dependencies


AT SPI-1.18.1, PyORBit-2.14.3, and Gnome-Python-2.18.2


intltool-0.35.5, GNOME Speech-0.4.16 (required for speech-enabled screen reading), GNOME Magnifier-0.14.6 (required for screen magnification), BRLTTY (required for braille output, must have Pyrex installed first)

User Notes: http://wiki.linuxfromscratch.org/blfs/wiki/orca

Installation of Orca

Install Orca by running the following commands:

if [ $(pkg-config --variable=prefix ORBit-2.0) != "/usr" ]; then
    sed -i "s|PATH=\"|&$(pkg-config \
           --variable=prefix ORBit-2.0)/bin:|" \

./configure --prefix=/usr \
            --enable-pydoc &&

This package does not come with a test suite.

Now, as the root user:

make install &&

install -v -m755 -d /usr/share/doc/orca-2.18.1 &&
install -v -m644    docs/pydoc/*.html \

For full functionality of this package, you should install the libgail-gnome-1.18.0 package.

Command Explanations

if [ ... != "/usr" ]; then ...; fi: This command is used to add the GNOME prefix bin directory to the hard-coded PATH statement in the script if the GNOME prefix is anything other than /usr.

--enable-pydoc: This parameter is used to build the documentation. Remove it if you don't want the documentation (also remove the installation commands).


Installed Program: orca
Installed Libraries: Python assistive technology (accessiblity) modules
Installed Directories: /usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/orca and /usr/share/orca

Short Descriptions


is a GUI menu interface used to access and configure the various functionality parameters provided for users with limited vision.

Last updated on 2008-03-17 13:11:35 -0500