Jul 20, 2023

Framework for dark-mode and light-mode transitions

A framework for dark-mode and light-mode transitions on Unix-like desktops.

Before we get into the finer details of the darkman port in FreeBSD, let’s look at the context. FreeBSD, an advanced computer operating system used to power modern servers, desktops, and embedded systems, thrives due to the efforts of a large and vibrant community. One of the many areas they contribute is the ports collection’ which is a simple way of compiling and installing packages from the source code. Darkman’, belonging to the Accessibility category, is a noteworthy port in this collection.

Accessibility ports are designed to enhance system usability for users with various types of disabilities. For those who are visually impaired, navigating a graphical user interface GUI can prove challenging. Darkman is developed to help address such issues, providing users with a text-to-speech TTS component to improve their interaction with their computer system.

The power of Darkman lies in how it converts written text into a format that could be played back as audio, offering an accessible alternative to reading from a screen. The software comes with a multitude of controls to adjust the speed, tone, and volume of the speech, improving usability for visually challenged users and anyone else interested in text-to-speech functionality.

This guide will help you understand how to install and use the Darkman port as part of the FreeBSD system.

First, you need to install the software. Open the terminal in your FreeBSD system and type the following command

sudo pkg install darkman

Once the installation is complete, you can invoke Darkman from your terminal by simply typing


Remember, the installation of Darkman automatically includes necessary libraries for functioning.

To use Darkman, provide the text you want the software to speak. This can be text stored in a file or an input from the command line. For example, to read a file named document.txt, you would run

darkman -f document.txt

If you want Darkman to speak a command-line input, you can use the -t flag, followed by the text in quotes. For instance,

darkman -t "Hello, World!"

Darkman provides several flags to adjust the speech playback. These include

  • -s to adjust the speed of speech
  • -p to adjust the pitch of the speech
  • -v to adjust the volume of the speech

For example, to increase the speed and decrease the pitch, you might use

darkman -s 1.5 -p 0.8 -f document.txt

Always remember that Darkman is a command-line program. It does not provide a GUI on its own. However, it can be integrated with other software if needed which is one of its strong points. For instance, it can be employed by screen reader software to provide voice output. Also, Darkman can read the output from applications running in the terminal.

Just like Darkman is crucial for increasing accessibility, other FreeBSD ports prove equally significant in their respective areas. Ports like [Nmap]https//freebsdsoftware.org/security/nmap.html, for example, play a crucial role in IT security by providing a tool for network exploration and security auditing.

In conclusion, Darkman is a simple and highly customizable text-to-speech software that can bring about a significant positive difference in the life of many users, particularly those who are visually challenged. This guide has touched upon the basics, but there is more to discover and experiment with to make the most out of this wonderful tool. So, go ahead and give Darkman a try!

Checkout these related ports:
  • Yasr - General-purpose console screen reader
  • Wlsunset - Day/night gamma adjustments for Wayland
  • Wl-gammarelay-rs - Adjust color temperature/brightness under Wayland via DBus
  • Speech-dispatcher -
  • Sctd - Set color temperature (sct) daemon
  • Sct - Utility to change screen temperature
  • Rubygem-atk - Ruby binding of ATK
  • Redshift - Adjusts the color temperature of your screen
  • Qt6-speech - Accessibilty features for Qt6
  • Qt5-speech - Accessibilty features for Qt5
  • Py-speech-dispatcher - Python bindings for Speech Dispatcher
  • Py-papi - ATK accessibility wrapper for python
  • Py-atspi - Python API for the D-BUS based SPI framework
  • Orca - Scriptable screen reader
  • Linux-c7-atk - Accessibility Toolkit (Linux CentOS ${LINUX_DIST_VER})