There is no apparent way to stop Orca

Bug #1165609 reported by Andrew
This bug affects 24 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
OEM Priority Project
gnome-orca (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

The "Orca Screen Reader" icon in the Dash is a trap. If a user accidentally opens it, the only apparent recourse for the incessant jabber is to either mute the volume system-wide or log out. This makes for a very poor user experience.

Orca could avoid this situation by providing at least one of the following:

  1) A notification of how to stop it, if there is a way to stop it.
  2) A confirmation prompt prior to starting.
  3) A quit option in a standard location such as the indicator menu.

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 13.04
Package: gnome-orca 3.8.0-0ubuntu1
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 3.8.0-16.26-generic 3.8.5
Uname: Linux 3.8.0-16-generic x86_64
ApportVersion: 2.9.2-0ubuntu5
Architecture: amd64
Date: Sat Apr 6 18:35:02 2013
InstallationDate: Installed on 2013-04-06 (0 days ago)
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 13.04 "Raring Ringtail" - Alpha amd64 (20130402.1)
MarkForUpload: True
PackageArchitecture: all
 PATH=(custom, no user)
SourcePackage: gnome-orca
UpgradeStatus: No upgrade log present (probably fresh install)

Revision history for this message
Andrew (andrewkvalheim) wrote :
Revision history for this message
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in gnome-orca (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Revision history for this message
Vladimir Rutsky (rutsky) wrote :

I can confirm this bug in Ubuntu 13.10.

As workaround I found that you can turn off screen reader in System Settings -> Universal Access -> Seeing -> Screen Reader (Alt+Super+S).

Revision history for this message
Volodya (volodya) wrote :

Behaviour still exists. Ubuntu 13.10 all updates installed.

To add to what Vladimir Rutsky has said, you may need to first turn the reader on, before turning it off. So it is already reading, but you first press Alt+Super+S to start it (again?) and then again to turn it finally off.

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Mustafa Hastürk (mustafa-hasturk) wrote :

very stupid program does not help anything.

Revision history for this message
Hristo Erinin (zorlem) wrote :


This problem still exists in 14.04.

Alt+Super+S shortcut as suggested by Vladimir Rutsky works.

Revision history for this message
Andrew (andrewkvalheim) wrote :

Linking back to the commentary on Ask Ubuntu:

Ara Pulido (ara)
Changed in oem-priority:
status: New → Incomplete
Revision history for this message
Ara Pulido (ara) wrote :

Marking this one as invalid, we will track this one instead:

Changed in oem-priority:
status: Incomplete → Invalid
Revision history for this message
Ken Nakagama (uaflyer) wrote :

I am running Fedora 20 with Cinnamon.
Only way I have found to stop Orca is

killall orca

in terminal

Revision history for this message
Wise Melon (wise-melon-deactivatedaccount) wrote :

I am running Ubuntu GNOME 15.04, and all I am able to do to stop it is to kill its process, but it carries on talking even after it is dead! That is, it finishes its sentence in protest... But some way of exiting it other than that would be nice...

summary: - There is no apparent way to stop Orca.
+ There is no apparent way to stop Orca
Revision history for this message
pradeep gour (master-x) wrote :

Me too........very painful experience...going to attempt logout as fiddling with "universal access" was useless.Keeping my fingers crossed........

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Antonio Augusto Pereira (x-abuntu-t-deactivatedaccount) wrote :

ubuntu 14.04 TT ...shes not close and need pitch control

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Antonio Augusto Pereira (x-abuntu-t-deactivatedaccount) wrote :

good diction and agreement in scores but still do not know rewrite the text.

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sibesh (sibesh-karn-92) wrote :

Unable to turn off the Orca screen reader on login screen, tried editing the .desktop file from etc and disabling it from settings, but it wakes up every time on login screen. Text pronounced are "Turning screen reader off, turning screen reader on ..." and it goes on.

Please fix this, for now i am uninstalling the application.

Revision history for this message
Redfern-derek (redfern-derek) wrote :

Behavior still exists... `killall orca; apt remove gnome-orca` was my approach. Would've kept it installed if there was some way to stop it without resorting to killall.

Revision history for this message
m1fcj (hakan-koseoglu) wrote :

Still a bug in 19.04. Accidentally triggered the screen reader, absolutely no way to kill it in an obvious manner. I had to google for what the screen reader is on Ubuntu to start with. No icons, no warnings, nothing at all. In the end got rid of it by killing and permanently removing it. Good riddance.

This behaviour can't be the default. Please fix it.

Revision history for this message
Evan (emo916math) wrote :

I had the most nightmarish experience yet: Somehow (probably by accidentally typing the shortcut) I turned on Orca, but because my computer's sound was muted, I only got mysterious symptoms. PDF files in Firefox kept returning to the first page, TeXstudio would crash with a segmentation fault when I opened the file manager, and I feared that my CPU was about to die. Finally, after plugging in headphones to listen to a video, I heard the jabbering and opened the System Monitor to find out the name of the program causing it. Please add an Orca icon to the system tray to help users to fix this faster!

tags: added: oem-priority
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