GNOME Speech-0.4.2

Introduction to GNOME Speech

The GNOME Speech package provides a simple general API for producing text-to-speech output. Multiple backends are supported by the GNOME Speech library, but currently only the Festival backend is built by default; the other backends require either Java or proprietary software.

Package Information

GNOME Speech Dependencies




Java Access Bridge-1.5.0, FreeTTS-1.2.1, Festival, ViaVoice, Eloquence, DECTalk, and Theta

User Notes:

Installation of GNOME Speech



You must install at least one of the backend drivers for GNOME Speech to render speech through the audio hardware. You should test the installation of the backend driver and ensure it produces desired results before installing GNOME Speech.

Install GNOME Speech by running the following commands:

./configure --prefix=$(pkg-config --variable=prefix ORBit-2.0) &&

This package does not come with a test suite.

Now, as the root user:

make install &&
install -v -m644 -D doc/gnome-speech.html \
    $(pkg-config --variable=prefix \

Command Explanations

--prefix=$(pkg-config --variable=prefix ORBit-2.0): Setting the prefix using this parameter instead of with $GNOME_PREFIX will ensure that the prefix is consistent with the installation environment and the package will be installed in the correct location.

--with-jab-dir=$(pkg-config --variable=prefix ORBit-2.0)/share/jar: Use this option if you have installed the Java Access Bridge package and wish to have GNOME Speech build in Java support.

Note: see the README and INSTALL files in the package source tree for the correct parameters to pass to configure to enable the desired backends.

Testing the Installation

You can test all the available backend drivers, voices and audio hardware using the test-speech command. Invoking test-speech produces a menu allowing you to select a backend driver and the desired voice, then prompts you (with on-screen prompts and text-to-speech audio) for additional information.

If you are using the FreeTTS backend and you do not hear any audio, you may need to use the streaming audio method instead of the clip audio method. As the root user, modify the freetts-synthesis-driver script:

sed -i "s/clip/streaming/" $GNOME_PREFIX/bin/freetts-synthesis-driver


Installed Programs: festival-synthesis-driver, freetts-synthesis-driver, speechd-synthesis-driver and test-speech
Installed Library: libgnomespeech.{so,a}. Other drivers and libraries are also installed if you have enabled additional backends.
Installed Directories: The following subdirectories of $GNOME_PREFIX/: include/gnome-speech-1.0, share/{doc/gnome-speech-0.4.2, gnome-speech, idl/gnome-speech-1.0}

Short Descriptions


is used to test the various backend drivers and voices installed on the system.


provides the API for programs to convert text into speech.

Last updated on 2007-01-14 14:34:29 -0600