LiSpeak: voice commands, dictation on Linux

cool_penguin_smallLiSpeak is a voice command software for Linux with a plugin based design. It is written in python and allows fine-gained control over several applications on your system. Those who want voice automation on Linux should try it out. LiSpeak builds on the Linux speech recognition system Palaver. As mentioned earlier, it’s possible to add new language support or application plugin easily.

LiSpeak is still not comparable to software available for other platforms like Dragon NaturallySpeaking with respect to quality but it is under heavy development and we can definitely hope to see it improve with every new release.


  • Desktop automation and dictation in one suit
  • Plugins are available for HTTP server, Steam launch, media, Banshee and Gedit
  • Lightweight and efficient
  • System tray integration
  • Detects English, Polish, Spanish, French and Italian
  • Can use espeak, Google TTS or pico2wave to respond back
  • Uses system notification or its own notification mechanism


Run the following commands to install LiSpeak on Ubuntu:

$ sudo apt-get install python-serial
$ git clone
$ cd LiSpeak
$ ./lispeak --setup

I kept getting the following error but the setup continued anyway:


Running the last command with sudo OR using the –debug option (for more information) might help. The setup starts a GUI, asks for preferences and install packages LiSpeak depends on.


Once the setup is complete, start LiSpeak by running:

$ ./hotkey

Note that you need to run hotkey every time you want to start LiSpeak server. You can start LiSpeak at start-up from the settings to avoid that.

On GitHub: LiSpeak

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