By Lottie, 7 May, 2023 Forum Hardware and Accessories I'm thinking of getting one of these to do mostly terminal stuff. Do I need a monitor? Or is there still a dongle that I can get? Options Log in or register to post comments Comments maybe leave it I thought I'd price up a MM that would last me a long time - £2500 without monitor! Unless you specifically need… Unless you specifically need the software on a Mac, I'd suggest you use a Windows machine with NVDA for CLI work; the review cursor, better Braille, and just plain-old better support make it superior except for the filesystem. As far as monitors, I got one just to be on the safe side, but I'm sure an emulator would work. I know it can run without one, but I'm not sure if Apple still demands one for setup. It definitely demands a mouse for setup and recovery. No dongles required now That's the good news. In fact my Fit-headless causes it to become very unresponsive; taking it out makes it go full throttle again. Apparently Apple have figured it out now, probably because they also made the GPU. I must say though that I think Jenna's comment about the advantages of macOS are very apt, specifically the filesystem. You can have UNIX on Windows, but you have to deal with the WSL filesystem overlay nonsense. It can be done though. The other advantage for macOS: it's probably a better server, unless you're prepared to manually start up a server VM on Windows at boot. So, for an accessible terminal (and general work as such), Windows. But if you need a UNIX box, well, a Mac cosplays rather better, particularly the small, quiet and cool Mini. See also: every other sodding thread on here concerning the particulars of Mac vs Windows. Linux for terminal work I do most of my terminal work under Linux, as it has better support for command line interfaces in general. It also lets you configure many aspects of the system in the UNIX way by editing a text-based configuration file. I can manage it on the Mac, but it isn't as good. I run Linux directly on hardware, not virtualized. I don't want all the additional issues of a virtual machine. I'm starting a degree in Data Science, or as I call it, inaccessibility. I see a lot of people on Mastodon saying speech screen reading in Linux is very poor, true? Linux Full Time I confess not to have tried GUI Linux recently (maybe a year or so ago), but when I last tried it wasn't anything like as solid as macOS and Mate seemed to hold the crown, although Gnome 3 still gets some attention. Sadly though, I just don't have any confidence in it, and only ever use Linux in textmode on my production VMs, with BRLTTY and/or speakup. Certainly you can do a lot in that environment, more than you'd imagine (even web browsing in an emergency isn't out of the question) but ultimately it's not a substitute for a supported mainstream OS. (Although, given the complaints on here about macOS, and my own feelings, I'm not even sure I'd call that platform "supported" any more.) Regardless, it's all a matter of degree, and you should probably try to get some experience of it for yourself. Fedora used to be quite easy to get going, I expect it still is, at least in a VM. @Jason Slightly OT but where do you get your Linux-compatible hardware? And how do you change firmware settings? Linux The terminal experience under Linux is better than VoiceOver in the Mac OS terminal. GUI access in Linux is good enough for me to do what I need (e-mail, Web browsing, etc.). Various vendors offer Linux hardware certification now - Lenovo, Dell, HP Dev 1, etc. Then there are specialist vendors such as System76. If you want to run it on an M1-based Mac, progress is being made by the Asahai Linux project. You would need a dual boot configuration with Mac OS in that case, and you may still need an external audio device. I don't know the state of braille support over USB. In my experience, "mainstream" and "supported" don't matter much with regard to accessibility. The bugs are there either way. So I could buy a Linux machine and use it out of the box in Terminal mode? Not a Mac obviously, but a X86 machine. That's cool. Is there a site you could direct me to where I can learn more? It will be like time travel! Using SCO unix an IBM PS80 in 1993. Super! Voices I'm not a computer science expert, just a full-time Linux user. Don't expect to have fifty, human-quality voices to choose from in Linux, like you have on an Apple device. In fact, if you can get used to understanding espeak, it would be best. The standard Speakup screen reader works very well with the text-only console, if you don't want to use a GUI. There are a few other screen readers for the console, but I haven't used them, and I usually use the Mate desktop's terminal with Orca screen reader. You could get an AMD64 or X86 machine and install a GNU/Linux distribution on it. I have, in the past, used Arch Linux, which has a website/forum with documentation etc, then I switched to Debian, which also has all the on-line stuff. And just for the background, I started with an accessible repackaging of Knopix called Oralux that ran off a CD back about eighteen or nineteen years ago when I used JAWS and Windows XP. It was... limited. May well be far under… May well be far under powered for your requirements, but maybe a raspberry pi running linux could be a way in. You can use it directly or headless with SSH. I would say it could be a cheaper way in, but not sure what the current cost of a 4B is. A 400 could also be an option, that is a RP built into a keyboard. All may end up just being toys if you have some big grunt work, but for most programming tasks, they are great without a £2500 investment. Headless mode and SSH Depending on the compute requirements, you could just remote into a Linux machine and roll with SSH in the gloriously accessible CLI. A raspberry pi or an old machine that you just throw Ubuntu on with a flash drive. Headless Mac Doable too, but since macOS is still fundamentally a GUI platform, you also need to get GUI access to it. I have something to say about that. Pneuma Solutions might too, in the near future. The problem with all these Linux/PC platforms is just getting them off the ground, which means setting up the firmware, installing the OS without working eyeballs, and then setting up the network and ssh. It is not, I think it's fair to say, a particularly friendly process. But it certainly marks you out, with scars, if you do it.