espeakup and pulseaudio

David Csercsics aarg at
Sun Feb 27 15:11:33 EST 2011

On Sun, Feb 27, 2011 at 01:27:16PM -0500, Christopher Moore wrote:
> Hello,
> I'm running archand have the pulseaudio server running.
> When I start espeakup with the rc.d script, the following message repeats
> each time data is to be spoken:
> wave_open_sound > Pa_OpenStream : err=-9996 (Invalid device)
> So what is the invalid device?

Probably portaudio trying to open your sound card using alsa but
pulseaudio has already grabbed the card and locked it open so you're
getting that error. I don't know how you'd get espeakup to work with
pulseaudio anyway since pulseaudio is typically started as a non-root user
and espeakup typically needs to be run as root so you can have speech
when you login for the first time. Espeakup would work with pulseaudio
if you built espeak against pulseaudio instead of portaudio but then
as I say I don't know how you're going to get speech in text consoles
since espeakup is started as root and the pulseaudio process is not. Yes
you can run pulseaudio in systemwide mode but if you do that the program
usually disables shared memory and so doesn't run very efficiently. Unless
they've changed some of this logic. It's been a long time since I messed
with pulseaudio so I'm possibly wrong about some or all of this but if
somebody wants to correct me then have at it. I'm not even sure how
pulseaudio helps anything over the standard dmix plugins. It's looking
like unnecessary complexity at this point but I'd be happy to try to
help get this working if somebody can give me a reason why I should
bother breaking a very nice sound setup.

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