Getting speakup to run on debian

John G Heim jheim at
Wed Jun 24 10:37:27 EDT 2015

It is probably a conflict with pulseaudio and alsa. Right now I am a 
little fuzzy on the details but I believe that orca and gnome load pulse 
drivers and espeak needs alsa. You can test whether this is the problem 
by not logging into the GUI before running espeak. So at the gnome login 
screen, press control+alt+f1 to get to the console, log in and start 
espeakup. Then go back to the login screen by pressing control+alt+f7 
and log into the gui. Make sure orca is running. Then go back once again 
to the console by pressing control+alt+f1. At this point, I will bet 
that software speech is not working for you.

I think you can fix this by recompiling espeakup to default to using 
pulseaudio. Instructions for that are somewhere on google. If you can't 
find them, I can probably dig them out again.

On 06/24/2015 02:34 AM, Brandon Keith Biggs wrote:
> Hello,
> I just installed debian and can't figure out how to get speakup to work.
> I type ctrl+meta+f1 to open the terminal, then I type espeakup. I get
> the message that espeakup is already running. But I can't get any output
> from typing or moving around. I know speakup is running because I have
> it in a VM and sometimes speakup and Orca like to say random words and
> speakup just said something to me, but I can't hear anything. I also
> don't get speech on any log-in screen.
> Thanks,

John Heim, jheim at, skype:john.g.heim

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