Update With Sonar

it’s been a long time since an update with Sonar. To start off The Vinux team and Sonar decided to start working together to build the best possible accessible distro for vision impared users. The project will still be called Vinux and they will be moving from Ubuntu as a base over to Fedora. I was going to help out in some way but I’m very busy with work and being part of some other projects. I’ve decided to keep Sonar going to some degree and it will still be Arch based. Sonar will be focused on being used by those already used to the Linux operating system or to those who have no problem figuring things out with some help. Sonar will be switching from Manjaro to Antergos. The Manjaro team has been extremely helpful throughout Sonar being based off of Manjaro. Manjaro has switched over to an installer that isn’t accessible to the Orca screen reader. We have tried to get it accessible but we haven’t been successful. So i reached out to Antergos for a few reasons, they are arch based and they use a fork of the installer that was accessible with Manjaro. So far Antergos has also been really helpful and doing everything they can to make sure we can build Sonar off of Antergos. That is where we are at for right now. Stay tuned for a beta release I hope in a month or so.

Sonar 2016.3 is out!

The Sonar team is proud to announce the first release of Sonar in 2016! Sonar 2016.3 is now available thanks to the hard work of Kendell Clark. Kendell took it upon himself to get this release out! The Sonar team gives Kendell a big shoutout for all of the hard work and time he put into this release. We would also like to give a shoutout to the Manjaro team for adding Sonar into the main build system. This was quite a bit of work on Manjaro and it is greatly appreciated. This release is a bit behind so there is not too much to mention about this release. We plan on having a new release out once the new version of Gnome hits the repos. Below yo u will find links to the 64 and 32 bit versions of Gnome and Mate versions. Thanks to everyone that contributes on the mailing list and that uses Sonar. Stay tuned for more news and the next release.

Gnome 32 bit
Gnome 64 bit
Mate 32 bit
Mate 64 bit

Welcome to Sonar 2015.2

Sonar 2015.2 is out! just as promised it came out just a few weeks after sonar 2015.1. Now that we have our build system in place we are ready for building other images of Sonar. But let’s take a look at the Gnome version of 2015.2


Sonar is focused on assistive technology trying to give the best a11y experience for everyone that depends on accessible software.

This version comes with Gnome 3.16 and this is the best version of Gnome yet. Sadly Gnome doesn’t run rather well on older hardware but as long as you have a computer from 5 years ago you should have no problems. This desktop is fast responsive and most important accessible!

The Free screen reader Orca has seen some performance improvements and also is now working much better with Firefox thanks to the Orca team. There is now a focus and browse mode in Orca while using Firefox to help with filling out forms and fields on websites.

Eviacam is now part of Sonar helping give access to quadriplegics. Letting them move the cursor on the screen with just the movement of their head.
The Dasher onscreen keyboard is now a part of Sonar giving greater access to those that have low motor skills.

Open Dyslexic is a few button pushes away to switch over to the font for easier reading.
Magnification is just a keyboard shortcut away. now low vision users have easy access to enlarge their screen.

Try Sonar Without Risk

if you have never tried out Sonar and want to give it a try just download the DVD and boot it up. Don’t worry Sonar boots into a live system which means that Sonar runs off of the DVD. It doesn’t effect the operating system that you already have installed on your computer. So you can run Sonar without having to install it. Don’t forget to check out our mailing list for any help and support.

Checkout the download page and get either the Gnome or CLI versions of Sonar 2015.2! The beta of the MATE version will also be available on the download page.

Don’t forget to join the mailing list if you have any questions or need some help.

Sonar Linux 2015.1 Is Out

Sonar Linux would like to announce the new release of Sonar Gnome 2015.1! The Sonar team would first like to apologize for getting this release out so late. The Manjaro team put a new build system into place which is even better than the last build system. So we had to adjust the way that we build Sonar and that took some time. Now that we have our system in place we will be ready for when Gnome 3.16 comes out and we will have the new release out much quicker. So you can expect a new version of Sonar in a few more months.

A big shout out to Phil the lead developer of Manjaro. He was a huge help with getting this release out. I wish that more of the open source developers would be has willing to assure accessibility in the software that they develop like Phil does. I know i’ve said this before but Phil is the perfect person to work with. The open source community should follow his example.

Now that we have this release out we will be working on a MATE and CLI version of Sonar. We have some more news coming out soon about Sonar but that will be for another post. Checkout the download page and get Sonar Gnome 2015.1!

Don’t forget to join the mailing list if you have any questions or need some help.

Sonar Gnome 2014.1 Getting Started Guides


Today we have released the Sonar Gnome 2014.1 Getting Started Guide — in three formats! Check out the Download Page for the guide in Open Document (ODT) format, PDF format and in PDF format using the OpenDyslexic font. Download it into the “Sonar” folder in your home folder for easy access when you need it.

Here are the topics covered in the guide.

Table of Contents

  • Sonar Gnome 2014.1
  • Welcome
  • About Sonar GNU/Linux
  • What is “GNU” anyway?
  • Translating from Windows to Sonar Linux
  • Accessibility
  • Screen Reader
  • Screen Magnification
  • On-Screen Keyboard
  • Head and Eye-Tracking Software
  • OpenDyslexic Font
  • Introduction to Sonar’s Desktop
  • Activities Button
  • Application Menu
  • Clock
  • Accessibility Menu
  • Status Menu
  • Using Accessibility Applications
  • Setting Keyboard Shortcuts On the Gnome Desktop
  • Using the Orca Screen Reader
  • Using Sonar’s Screen Magnifier
  • Using the On-Screen Keyboard
  • Using Head and Eye-Tracking Software
  • Using Applications
  • Web Browser
  • Word Processor
  • Entertainment
  • Staying Secure and Up To Date
  • Getting the Latest Updates
  • Need More Software?

New Sonar backgrounds are available

We are pleased to announce that we have created two alternative backgrounds (wallpapers) for our users.

The default Sonar GNU/Linux wallpaper is all black with the word “Sonar” in all caps, grey font, with the letter “O” in green. There are several pulses on each side of the word Sonar. The pulses look like sound waves emanating from the word. For low vision users and for sighted users who like dark backgrounds it is a wonderful design.

For users who like a background that is not so dark, we’ve created a background that is a medium grey, fading to a hint of grey-green in the corners. In the lower left is the official Sonar GNU/Linux logo with a reflection below it, as though it is sitting on a glass table.

The second new wallpaper is identical to the grey one, but with a black background, fading to a hint of green in the corners and the reflected logo in the lower left corner.

You’ll find all three wallpapers in this post. If you want to try one of the alternatives, right-click and download the one you like best into your “Pictures” folder. Once the download is complete, right-click on the Sonar desktop and select Change Desktop Background from the list. Click on Background in the panel, then select the Pictures button, choose the new image and click Select.

The default Sonar background.



Click the image above to display the image full-screen, then right-click to save as background wallpaper.

“Dark reflection” background.


Click the image above to display the image full-screen, then right-click to save as background wallpaper.

“Light reflection” background.


Click the image above to display the image full-screen, then right-click to save as background wallpaper.

Sonar 2014.1 is out!

We are proud to announce the latest Sonar GNU/Linux! This has been a long time coming and it is finally here! A big thanks goes out to Kyle Brouhard for getting this release done. He has put a lot of work into this and it shows.

This is the first release of Sonar being based off of Manjaro Linux which is built off Arch linux. The Manjaro team has been really great to work with and has helped greatly with the transition from Ubuntu to Manjaro. Phil miller the project leader of Manjaro has made the move a fantastic experience. phil has also done a lot of work for Sonar and it is greatly appreciated. Without the help from Phil this wouldn’t have gotten off the groud. Sonar would also like to commend Phil and the manjaro team for making sure they could make everything as accessible as possible. We hope that Phil and the Manjaro team will be a great example of concerns with accessibility within the Free sofware community. Everyone should folow their lead and make sure that they play their part in assuring that people can access technology once and for all. That is the goal of Sonar and Kyle and Phil are making this possible.

With Sonar being based off of Manjaro this will assure that Sonar will always be running the latest assistive technology to give our users the best experience. If you have never tried out Sonar before what are you waiting for? Go to the download page and get your copy now!

New Sonar Beta Is Out!

Sonar is proud to announce that we have a new beta to try out and download. kyle has been working hard and we now have a beta using Gnome 3.12 and better uefi support along with the 3.14 kernel. We are excited and looking forward to the final release of Sonar and can’t wait for the many other announcements that we have. Here is a link to download and try it and pleas join the mailing list and give us some feedback.


Update with Sonar

On the Sonar team we have been accomplishing quite a lot recently. We have added some new team members and we are very excited with the new additions. The new Sonar based of of Manjaro is looking really good and we can’t wait to release it this will be the best Sonar yet. We are aiming for a final release sometime in April and we will be shipping with gnome 3.12. So if you haven’t yet join the mailing list and join the Sonar community.

Update With Sonar

We have been working on Sonar based off of Manjaro and it is going really well. Here at Sonar linux we are excited to be moving over to Manjaro linux for our base system. With this move we will always have the latest and greatest packages in Sonar now thanks to Manjaro being based off of Arch Linux. We hope to have a Betta released some time next week and if we do we will have a post about it and a download links to the betta. There will be a couple of other announcements before the final release of Sonar and we can’t wait to announce them. Don’t forget to join us on the mailing list and join the discussion and give us your suggestions because we actually would like your input.