I'm trying to set up my old netbook to help my visually impaired grandmother keep her mind engaged. My grandfather passed away last year, and my grandmother moved into an assisted living home. She is still very intelligent, but has never been a social person. She misses being able to play Scrabble, crosswords, and card games to keep herself busy, but because she prefers to keep to herself, and due to her very poor eyesight, she cannot play via traditional means.

At one point, a family member had loaned her a computer with a Scrabble game on it. I understand she loved playing it, but no longer has access to the computer. I have an old netbook I no longer use that I thought would be perfect for her - I could hook it up via HDMI to her TV to make it readable, find an extremely simple, easy to navigate distro, and pre-load a few games for her. My question is this: What distro would be most ideal for a legally blind person with extremely basic computer skills, and how might I best set up the system to make it usable for her?

I envision a few big, clear icons on the desktop for her to click, perhaps with an on-screen keyboard and magnifier for her if the keyboard is too hard to operate or she can't make out menu items. She has no desire for internet access or to use the computer for any other purpose.

1 Answer 1


From solely an appearance / acessibility standpoint I'd vote for Ubuntu/Unity, but clearly that's going to be a bit Hefty for an old netbook. Solus is a very clean interface that wouldn't confuse too much, and the panel can quickly be made friendly for the visually imapaired. It's pretty lightweight and should run well on a netbook.The biggest downside I can think of here is it has a homegrown package management system, that may or may not inhibit loading up your software.

I won't really get into the setup too much as you'll probably have a better idea of how to handle it, but I think this Distro along with the Gnome Tweak tool should work pretty well, and no, this is not a gnome 3 distro,.

  • Solus is 64 bit only, that might not fit an old netbook
    – Anthon
    Commented Apr 10, 2016 at 8:35
  • That's fair, I beilieve there is an Ubuntu remix called "budgie" that uses the same desktop. Maybe that would fit the bill in the case of a 32bit netbook. Commented Apr 16, 2016 at 20:28

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