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?

Setting Keyboard Shortcuts in Sonar GNU/Linux

The keyboard shortcuts you can set in Sonar are very extensive. If you would like to take a look at setting your own keyboard shortcuts you can press the Windows key and then type “settings”. Then you will find the keyboard option and press Enter. Now you will have the Keyboard Settings menu open. First you will be on the option for setting your settings for typing. Here you will press the right arrow and now you will be able to set your keyboard shortcuts. From here you can set what shortcuts you want for your sound and media. You can also set shortcuts for moving your windows around and other system navagations. You can also set shortcuts for launchers and taking screen shots.

Sonar doesn’t set a lot of shortcuts for the user we leave that up to each person that uses Sonar. When you find a shortcut you want to set you press Enter on the action you are setting a shortcut for, and then press the key combination for the shortcut, and it will be set.

If you are using the Gnome-Flashback desktop in Sonar then the way you would get to keyboard shortcuts is press AltF1. This will bring you to the main menu. Now arrow down until you see System Settings. Then right arrow and down arrow until you see Keyboard Shortcuts.

Using Screen Magnification In Sonar GNU/Linux

If you are a low vision user and you require screen magnification Sonar has magnification already built into it. If you wish to use the screen magnification you can turn it on just by pressing the Alt key, the Windows key and the letter “M”.

Once you have the magnification turned on you can zoom in by pressing Alt + Windows and the plus (+) sign. If you want to zoom out you can by pressing Alt + Windows and the minus () sign. If you wish to change the keyboard shortcuts you can by opening the Gnome-shell by pressing the Windows key and then typing in “settings”. From here you can go to the keyboard settings and change all of the keyboard shortcuts not only for the magnification but for all keyboard shortcuts.

Zoom in when needed

After You Install Sonar

Now that you have Sonar installed you most likely want to know how to use it. Once you are logged in and you want to open Firefox. The first thing you will do is press the Windows key also known as the Super key. This will bring up the Gnome-shell. Now that it is up you will start to type Firefox and it should automatically fill into the box. Once you see it you can then press Enter and Firefox will open.

Now the Gnome-shell is pretty interesting and not only can you search for programs that you know the name of but you can also type in something like music and it will bring up any programs that you have installed that have anything to do with music. So you don’t need to know the name of the program and it will find it for you. Also with the shell you can search for files and folders, so you can just type the name of the file or folder and it will bring it up in the shell. So really the Gnome-shell is a powerful search tool for your whole system.

If you are having a problem connecting to the internet after you have launched Firefox you will need to get too the top panel. The way you get there is by pressing the ControlAlt and Tab keys at the same time and this will bring you to the top panel. Once you are there you can then arrow over to the networking and you will see your wireless network. You will arrow down to your network and press the Spacebar and it will connect to your network. While you are pressing the ControlAlt and Tab buttons together, you can also get to the message tray and see any messages that you might have from your programs running. But to get to your messages tray you can also press Alt and the letter “M”.

If you would like to see a list of all your applications you can press the Super key and the letter “A”. This will bring up a list of all the applications you have installed. on your system. You can choose any application from this list and press enter on it to launch it.

Shortcut keys for Sonar 13.10

Here are some quick keyboard chortcuts for you to know for your Sonar installation. When you see a key called Super that is also known has the Windows key.

Media key shortcuts

Volume mute: Control+Super+M
Volume down: Control+Super+down arrow
Volume up: Control+Super+up arrow

Accessibility key shortcuts

Turn on magnification: Alt+Super+M
Zoom in: Alt+Super+the plus key
Zoom out: Alt+Super+the minus key
Turn on onscreen keyboard: Alt+Super+K
Increase text size: Alt+Super+L
Decrease text size: Alt+Super+D
Turn on high contrast: Alt+Super+H

Installation of Sonar 12.04

Once you have downloaded Sonar GNU/Linux and burned it onto a DVD or USB drive. You will then boot off of it, wait until it comes to the live session, and you hear the Orca screen reader.

If you are running the Sonar Gnome-shell version you will press the Super key also known as the Windows key. This will bring up the Gnome-shell. Now you wil type in the word “install”. This will bring up the installer for Sonar. If you are running Regular Sonar or the LXDE version you will press Alt+F1 to bring you to the menu.

If you are running the LXDE version you will press the Up arrow key to administration. Then Right arrow and Down arrow until you see “install Sonar”. Press Enter and your off!

Now if you are running regular Sonar once you are in the menu press the Up arrow to System Tools. Then Right arrow to Administration, and Right arrow again then Down until you see “install Sonar”. Press Enter and your off!

Now the installer has started, and the first screen you see will be to choose your language. The default version of Sonar supports English, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, French, German and Italian. The Sonar international versions support up to 80 other languages. Once you have chosen your language you will press Continue.

On the next screen it will suggest to make sure if you are installing on a laptop to make sure that it is plugged-in and connected to the internet. Here it will also mention that Sonar uses third party software like flash, MP3 and other proprietary codecs. You can check a box here to install them during the installation process. We suggest you don’t install any proprietary software on Sonar GNU/Linux. But you do have the choice. Then you will Tab to continue and press Enter.

On this next screen if you are installing on a laptop you will have the choice to connect to your wireless network. You will arrow to have it connect to your network, and then you will press the Tab key to choose the network you want to connect to. Once you see the network you want to connect to, press the Spacebar. Now you are connected to your network. Press Tab to continue and then press Enter.

Now you are at the screen to partition and format your hard drive. You will have three choices here , that you can arrow through. The first choice is to format the entire hard drive and install Sonar. The second choice is if you already have another operating system installed on your computer, it will install Sonar along side it. if you choose this option it will automatically re-size your hard drive to fit Sonar on it. We strongly suggest you backup before doing this type of installation. Things can go wrong while setting up a dual boot. The third option is to manually partition your hard drive. This is only for those that have experience with partitioning. If you don’t have any experience we suggest you don’t choose this option.

After you have chosen one of these options you will then press Tab to choose whether or not you want to encrypt the installation, if so press the Spacebar. Then press Tab and the next option is to use LVM. Most users don’t need this option so you can go past this step and then Tab to install.

The next screen is to choose your location in the world. It will auto detect your location so you should be all set here. If not you can Tab to the text-box and start to type in your location and it will find it. Then press Tab to continue.

Now you are at the keyboard layout. This should also detect your keyboard automatically. If not you can tab to the text-box and start to type and it will auto detect your keyboard layout. Then press Tab to continue.

Here is where you will set your user name and password. The first field is for entering your full name. You don’t have to really enter your full name here. Then Tab and it will ask you what you want your computer name to be. By default it uses what you put for your name. You can either leave this or change it. Then Tab again, and the next choice is to choose a user name for log in. Again by default it uses the full name you put at the top. So you can either change this or leave it the way it is. Now Tab and choose your password. You will enter yor password and then Tab and enter it again. Then Tab and it will ask you if you want it to require your password to log in. Here you can arrow to have it not require your password and it will automatically log in at boot. Then you press Tab and it will ask you if you want to encrypt your home directory, if so press the Spacebar to check the box. Then press Tab to install.

Quick Tips Once Sonar Is Installed

Now that you have Sonar GNu/Linux installed here are some quick tips to navigate your operating system.

First if you would like to look through the Orca settings you will need to press the Insert key  and the Spacebar or the Caps Lock key and the Spacebar. This depends on you running desktop keyboard layout or laptop keyboard layout.

Now that you have looked through the Orca preferences lets take a look at the desktop. If you are running Sonar and you want to get to the menu where the applications are you will press Alt+F1. Now that you are in the menu you can arrow up or down and you will see “Accessories”, “Internet”, “Office” and “Sound and Video” along with some other options. Now if you would like to see what is under “Internet” you will then press the Right arrow and then Down or Up to see the options under “Internet”. Likewise for the rest of the menu.

When you see “System Tools” you will be able to Right arrow over and you will see “Administration”. From here you can Right arrow over again to see what is under “Administration”. While you are on “Administration” you can Up and Down arrow and see other options within this part of the menu. Another section of the menu is called “Places”. This part of the menu allows you to get to your Music folder or Video folder. You can also get to your Home folder which has all of your other folders contained in it like Documents, Music, Videos and Downloads. You can get to places by Right arrowing when you are within the “Internet” part of the menu, or “Accessories”. But you can also get to your Home folder from the icon on your desktop labeled “Home”.

If you are running Sonar Gnome-shell and you want to access your applications you can do this a few ways with the Gnome-shell. The first way is to press the Super key or also known as the Windows key and the letter “A”. This will bring up a list of all of the applications you have installed on your system. Or if you press the Super key this will bring up the Gnome-Shell and then type in the name of the program you want to launch and it will bring the program up that you want to start. While you have the Gnome-Shell open you can do other things from here also such as searching for files or even folders. You can start to type a file name in or folder name  and the Shell will bring these up. If you don’t know the name of the program you can type in something like “music” and it will bring up the music player or anything to do with music that is installed. So you don’t need to know the name of the program you want to launch.

There is also a top panel in Sonar and the way to get to that panel is by pressing alt, Control+Tab. This will bring you to the panel and from here you can shutdown your system or connect to a wireless network. There are some other things you can do from here also.

Show all appls or frequently used apps

Installation of Sonar based of Debian Wheezy and Sid

Before you start the install you will want to start the Orca preferences and choose your keyboard layout.

Now press the Windows key and type in the word “live”. This will bring up the installer.

Then it says that the installer itself will use English and you choose “yes” or “no”. After you tab to yes then press the space bar.

Next you will choose extra locals to be installed. If you just want 1 language installed you can just press tab to next and press the space bar.

After this you will choose the default local for the installation. Arrow through the choices and then tab to next and press the Spacebar.

Now you will configure the keyboard configuration. If you are using a U.S. Keyboard you can press Tab to next and then press the Spacebar.

Next is setting up the keyboard layout. The default is U.S.  Again if you are using a U.S. Keyboard you can press Tab and then the Spacebar. During this point of  the installer you will have the option to set up the “kill x” by pressing Control, Alt and Backspace. You will see this option as you are tabbing through the menu. If you would like this option just press the Spacebar to check the box.

Next is creating your partition. Here it says if you already have your partition set up you can press Quit and you will quit Gparted. Or if you don’t have any partitions set up yet you can press Continue to open Gparted and start your partitioning.

You will arrow Down and it will show your HDD. Here you will press Enter to choose your HDD.

Now you will arrow Down and it will show 3 partitions if you already have been running a GNU/Linux operating system. The first partition should be the largest and this is the one you will want to format. Here you will right-click on this and arrow Down to format. Press the Right arrow over and select the file system you would like to format your partition in. I recommend either EXT3 or EXT4. Now press Enter to choose your file format. Then Tab or arrow until you see “Apply” and press the Spacebar. Then it will ask if you are sure that you want to format and press Apply again to continue. This will take a few moments to format your HDD.

After formatting you will want to Tab and then press Close. Now press Control+Q to quit Gparted.

Arrow Down until you see your HDD which will be labeled as “sda”.

Arrow Down again and Then you will choose “sda”  again.

Arrow Down and here you will choose your file system again either choose EXT3 or EXT4 and press the Spacebar.

You will arrow Down and it will ask if you want root on home partition this is the only choice so press the Spacebar.

Here the first text box is to enter your root passward.
The next text box is to reenter your root password.
Next is to choose the full username.
Now you will choose the name of the user to create.
Here enter the password for the user it must be different from the root password.
You will enter your username password again here.
The last text box is to choose the host name of the computer.

Now it will be asking where do you want to place the master boot record. It is set to MBR by default. Then you can press the Spacebar.

Now it says that your system clock is set to your local time. Answering no will set it to UTC. So choose “yes” or “no” and then press Enter.

Now you will arrow through the time zones and choose one and then press the Spacebar.

It will ask if you want to continue and you will press “yes” or “no” with the arrow key and then press the Spacebar on your choice.