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Speakup Revisited

Linux distros using kernel 2.6.35 and higher have speakup already built in, so there is no need to install it. You still will need to configure a synthesizer for it and other information in this article may be useful too.
In Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic and later, the way speakup is installed has changed. You can still build it from source if you want, but now it is included in the repository. Here are the instructions for installing it. In terminal type:
sudo apt-get install speakup-source espeakup
After the packages have finished installing type the following:
sudo m-a a-i speakup-source
You may also want to install the speakup-tools package. To get it type:
sudo apt-get install speakup-tools
The method used to get speakup to start automatically has not changed. Just type:
sudo gedit /etc/modules
Move down to the end of the file and on a blank line add the following:
speakup_soft start=1
From then on, when you start your computer speakup will be running. The espeakup program also starts so you will have speech. You may want to change the voice to your language. To do so, in terminal type:
sudo gedit /etc/default/espeakup
Add your chosen voice to the end of the line that reads VOICE= like so:
VOICE=en-us
Now, it will speak your language.
Finally, the way you adjust speakup’s settings has changed slightly. From speaking with users of other distributions than Ubuntu, I have learned this is the way most if not all the rest of them were doing it. Here is an example of turning off key echo:
sudo echo 0 > /sys/accessibility/speakup/key_echo
To turn it back on change the 0 to a 1. For a list of things that can be changed type:
ls /sys/accessibility/speakup/
You can add the command to /etc/init.d/rc.local to have it automatically happen at start-up. To save all of your speakup settings, if you have the speakup-tools package installed, type:
speakupconf save
when you have everything set the way you want it. To get it to load at startup add the line:
speakupconf load
to the end of your ~/.bashrc file.
As said in the beginning of this article, this applies to Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic and possibly new versions of Ubuntu. If you are using an older version the following link will be more helpful:
http://stormdragon.tk/?p=44

Installing Speakup in Ubuntu

I was told that speakup isn’t as difficult to install any more because you don’t have to recompile the kernel any more, So, I thought I would give it a go. It took a few minutes, but over all, it was very easy to get it up and running. If you too would like to install speakup, here are the instructions. Thanks goes to Paul Hunt for helping with the instructions. This was done an a Dell Studio 1536 running Ubuntu Intrepid.
First, we need to install the git-core package. In a terminal, type:
sudo apt-get install git-core
After that package is installed, get the speakup packages with this command:
git clone http://www.linux-speakup.org/speakup.git
This one takes a while, so play a game or something, but keep checking back on it. It will finish eventually. After that happens, it is time to compile and install. To do this, type:
cd speakup/src
make
sudo make modules_install
After the above three commands have completed, you need to move some files around because they aren’t installed in the right place. Enter the following commands:
cd /lib/modules/`uname -r`/extra/speakup
sudo cp * ..
Once that has been done, activate by typing:
sudo depmod -a
Now everything should be ready. So to start the module, type:
sudo modprobe speakup_soft start=1
So that you don’t have to type the above line every time your computer is restarted, do the following:
sudo vi /etc/modules
This will open the vim text editor. Press the escape key to make sure you are in command mode. Use down arrow to move to the bottom of the file. Once there, press shift A to get in to append mode. Type the following line exactly as it is here:
speakup_soft start=1
Press the escape key to get back in to command mode. Then type the following to save and exit vim:
:wq
Once you press enter the file will be saved. To get espeak working with speakup, do the following:
cd ~/speakup/contrib
unzip espeakup with the following:
bunzip2 espeakup-0.60.tar.bz2
tar xvf espeakup-0.60.tar
then install:
make
sudo make install
Launch it with:
sudo espeakup –default-voice voice name
So, for US English, the command would be:
sudo espeakup –default-voice en-us
You can add espeakup to /etc/init.d/rc.local, so you won’t need to launch espeakup every time your system is restarted. Place the line at the very end of the file.
You can not use speakup with plain old gnome-terminal. You need to open a text console. You can do this with control+alt+f1 through f6. You can get back to your normal desktop with control+alt+f7. when you bring up the text console you will need to log in with your user name and password. You can read the speakup manual in the ~/speakup/doc directory. For those of us who don’t like using key echo, you can disable it. You need to be root to make this change, so type:
sudo su – root
then, to disable it, type:
echo 0 > /sys/module/speakup/parameters/key_echo
after that is done, type exit to logout from the root account. To do this automatically, add it to /etc/init.d/rc.local. There are other parameters you can change as well such as volume and rate. In the above command change the number 0 to 9 and key_echo to rate to set the voice rate.
echo 9 > /sys/module/speakup/parameters/rate
That’s about it, have fun. Remember, when you find a setting you like, just add it in to the end of /etc/init.d/rc.local to make it happen at startup.

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