SpeechLion requires the following software packages to run:

  • Java runtime environment 1.6 or greater
  • Jython 2.2.1 or greater
  • Sphinx-4 1.0beta4 or newer
  • Optional: FreeTTS 1.2.2 binary or greater

Install Java 1.6 JRE

Sphinx-4 is written in Java and therefore requires the JVM to run. To install Java on Ubuntu Linux, this requires the following:

sudo apt-get install sun-java6-jre

SpeechLion may not work with other JVMs besides the Sun JVM. To ensure that you are using Sun's JVM by default on Ubuntu, do the following:

sudo update-alternative --config java

and choose the one with java-6-sun in the path.

Install Jython 2.2.1

SpeechLion is written in Jython. This is the Python programming language running on top of the JVM. It is excellent for scripting Java programs and rapid development. To install Jython on Ubuntu Linux, do the following:

sudo apt-get install jython

Now test that jython is working:


You should see some messages followed by the >>> jython prompt. Press the ctrl-D key sequence to exit.

Install sharutils

Sphinx-4 requires sharutils. To install it on Ubuntu Linux:

sudo apt-get install sharutils

Install Sphinx-4 1.0beta4

See the Sphinx-4 download instructions for more details.

Download the Sphinx-4 1.0beta4 package from SourceForge. Next:

cd sphinx4/lib

Now accept the BCL license agreement which will unpack jsapi.jar.

Now test Sphinx-4:

cd ..
java -jar bin/Dialog.jar

Press ctrl-C to exit the Sphinx4 dialog demo.

Optional: Install FreeTTS 1.2.2 binary

FreeTTS is used to provide spoken acknowledgement of speech input. See the FreeTTS download instructions for more details on installing FreeTTS.

Download the FreeTTS 1.2.2 binary package from SourceForge. Next:

cd freetts-1.2
cp ~
cd lib

Now accept the BCL which will unpack jsapi.jar.

Test FreeTTS:

cd ..
java -jar bin/HelloWorld.jar

You should hear a computerized voice say "hello world".

Configure SpeechLion Paths

The speechlion script simply runs jython with the appropriate CLASSPATH settings and other options. Simply modify speechlion so that SPHINX4 points to your Sphinx-4 installation and FREETTS points to your FreeTTS installation.

If you don't have FreeTTS installed, SpeechLion should detect this and print a message at startup.

Run SpeechLion

If everything is built and installed correctly, try running SpeechLion from its installed directory:


Startup is fairly slow, be patient. Assuming nothing crashes, when you see the message start speaking, you can now start speaking commands to it. Try putting your mouse pointer over your Firefox window and say "browse google".

Now read the documentation in the USAGE file.