What Software Speech-enabled Linux Distributions Work Today?

Tony Baechler tony at baechler.net
Thu Jun 12 16:11:16 UTC 2008

Martin McCormick wrote:
> 	So, I am ideally looking for a non-orphaned Debian
> distribution that uses a non-commercial speech engine that
> works.


I'm not trying to insult you or anything, but to me, grml seems like the 
obvious answer.  I suppose you could wait for Lenny which will hopefully 
have Speakup support in the installer and kernel, but for now I really 
think grml might be worth trying to fix.  I didn't have the spelling 
problem with software speech but my computer is somewhat old and I have 
a basic sound card.  Specifically, I'm on a desktop with 256 MB of RAM, 
a 1.7 GHZ processor and a Sound Blaster Live! sound card.  I played with 
grml 1.1rc1 and it worked fine for me.  I can't stand software speech 
for long periods of time so I primarily use my DEC-Talk Express, but 
when I used the included software speech I had no problem, both at the 
command line and from the Orca setup.

I haven't used any other versions of grml besides 1.1rc1, but if the 
spelling problem is still there in the final 1.1 or whatever version you 
tried, I would report it as a bug.  The maintainer seems interested and 
responsive to accessibility problems.  He says that 1.1 includes a newer 
git Speakup while 1.1rc1 didn't, so maybe try the older version.  I have 
the CD I burned if you want it.  Again, you could always wait for Lenny 
or try building your own kernel.  I built Debian kernel packages with 
Speakup built-in so maybe they would work, but it sounds like your 
problem is in the speech engine itself, not Speakup.  I would definitely 
report the issues you're having to Mika, the maintainer.  His email is 
mika at grml.org or you can go to the web site.  http://grml.org/  I 
personally wouldn't recommend grml for a hard disk installation because 
grml2hd has accessibility issues, but other than that, it's a fine 
distro, especially as a live CD.

Probably none of this is of help to you, but I hope it does some good or 
gives you an idea.  I don't claim to be any kind of Linux expert, so 
forgive me if I'm talking out of my hat.  You're far more experienced 
than I.

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