I present here the method I used to add Braille output support to the boot disk (and so much more) Tom's RTBT, mad by Tom Oehser, Tom@Toms.NET. The Tom's can be found at http://www.toms.net/rb/

Before naming this attempt the 0.01 beta version of the "bigletom RTBT", I would need to have some feedback, because I do not have a Braille display myself : ) Do consider this as a micro-HOWTO "Brltty on Tom's RTBT, made on a Debian box" (for libc5 compilation, mainly). IMPORTANT NOTE : the construction of this package have not required any source code modification. The sources of the packages used can be found on the websites linked. The bigletom-1.7.367.tar.gz package can be found at http://mrmarco.free.fr/bigletom-1.7.367.tar.gz.

One need to have minix (and probably loopback) supported by the kernel. The debian packages for compilation using libc5 (as used by Tom's RTBT) have to be installed first :

apt-get install libc5-dev libc5-altdev altgcc libdl1-altdev ldso After the download of a tomsrtbt-1.7.361, that you can find at http://www.toms.net/rb/, uncompression of the tarball and cd to the directory created, you have to log as root.
Creates a directory named tomsrtbt-1.7.361.unpacked.
Then you have to download brltty-2.98 at http://www.cam.org/~nico/brltty.

After uncompressing and cd into the created directory, the Makefile is edited to include support for all Braille devices and to add french as default table (did you notice english is not my native language? ; ). To support Nath's device properly, the device size is changed to 20 in brltty-2.98/VisioBraille/brlconf.h.

The compilation against libc5 is done with :

PATH=/usr/i486-linuxlibc1/bin:$PATH make

The binaries scrtest,brltest et brltty are then copied at the right place.

cp ../../brltty-2.98/{scrtest,brltest} 2/usr/bin

cp ../../brltty-2.98/brltty 2/bin

In brltty-2.98/bootdisks, the init.c file is compiled the same way

PATH=/usr/i486-linuxlibc1/bin:$PATH gcc -o init -s init.c

This init calls brltty before the real_init

The two init files are then exchanged :

mv 2/bin/init 2/bin/real_init

cp ../../brltty-2.98/bootdisk/init 2/bin/init

Some binaries from the tom's are then removed to make some room : view
(There is already vi...)


cd ../../brltty-2.98

The command

ldd brltty

shows that brltty calls libdl.so.1 (from the ldso package), in addition to the libc. It thus must be added.

cp /lib/libdl.so.1.9.11 2/lib/libdl.so.1

The vcsa0 device is created with coorect parametres. This device is the one used by brltty.

mknod -m o= 2/dev/vcsa0 c 7 128

(Here, dont ask : )

Then, back to the tomsrtbt-1.7.361.unpacked directory :


Creates the tarball and the directory.

cd debian-tomsrtbt-1.7.36X


With a blank floppy at the right place creates the boot disk : )