How to

This section provides guides to achieve some common tasks.

Activating auto-hide mode

For auto-hide mode to work, you need to start the at-spi registry daemon at session startup. Usually, the daemon executable us located at /usr/libexec. Start at-spi registry daemon (at session startup):

$ /usr/libexec/at-spi-registryd &

Some distros may put the at-spi-registryd command elsewhere. Use the find command to find out where your distro put at-spi-registryd:

$ find /usr -name at-spi-registryd

When the at-spi registry daemon is started, you need to tell applications to use it.

For gtk3 applications, you can set on the dconf property org.gnome.desktop.interface.toolkit-accessibility with dconf-editor or you can set the environment variable GTK_MODULES to gail:atk-bridge in /etc/environment, /etc/profile.d or wherever your distro will interpret it at startup.

$ export GTK_MODULES=gail:atk-bridge

For java applications, you need to install the java access bridge. On Debian, you can do that with this command:

$ sudo apt-get install libaccess-bridge-java

Other distributions should have a similar package available. Please check with your distribution support.

For QT4 applications, you need to install the qt-at-spi package. On debian, use this command:

$ sudo apt-get install qt-at-spi

QT5 applications should work out of the box as the at-spi bridge has been merged into QtBase.

For other toolkits, please check the available documentation and support.

MATE starts the daemon automatically if it is configured with the mate-at-property dialog.

Other desktop environments may setup at-spi automatically for you. Check your desktop documentation for more information.

When at-spi is properly configured in your desktop environment, you can tell Florence to use the auto-hide mode.

$ florence --config

Note that QT3 applications don't support at-spi. Therefore you should not activate auto-hide mode on KDE3.

Using Florence at login with GDM2

Using florence at GDM 2 is possible with gdmlogin. gdmgreeter has some issues with accessibility.

Configuring GDM to launch florence at login time involves editing 2 files in /etc/X11/gdm (requires root privileges): custom.conf and modules/AccessKeyMouseEvents.

In /etc/X11/gdm/custom.conf, add the following lines in the [daemon] section (if they are not already present):


In /etc/X11/gdm/modules/AccessKeyMouseEvents, add the following lines:

# Start florence virtual keyboard by pressing any mouse button for 2 seconds
<Mouse1> 1 2000 10000 /usr/bin/florence --focus --no-gnome --use-config /usr/share/florence/florence.conf
<Mouse2> 1 2000 10000 /usr/bin/florence --focus --no-gnome --use-config /usr/share/florence/florence.conf
<Mouse3> 1 2000 10000 /usr/bin/florence --focus --no-gnome --use-config /usr/share/florence/florence.conf

You should delete any other line starting with <mouse1>, <mouse2> or <mouse3> in order to prevent any other keyboard from starting instead of florence (like gok).

When you have edited those two files, you should be able to start florence at next boot at gdm login. Press any mouse button for more than 2 seconds at the login window to do so.

You can modify the keyboard settings for GDM as root with this command:

# florence -c --use-config /usr/share/florence/florence.conf

Using Florence at login with GDM3

With GDM3, it is very simple to use Florence at login screen. On Debian, you can use this command:

# cp /usr/share/applications/florence.desktop /usr/share/gdm/autostart/LoginWindow/

This should work on other distributions as well, although the pathes may be slightly different.