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Install eSpeak on Debian 10

Last Updated: Fri, May 1, 2020
Debian Server Apps Voice Servers


eSpeak can generate text-to-speech (TTS) audio files. This is useful for many purposes, such as creating audible CAPTCHA tests.

Install eSpeak

  1. Log in as the root user.

  2. Follow our best practices guide the update the server.

  3. Install eSpeak.

     # apt install espeak

Test eSpeak

Create a test WAV file with the following parameters.

  • Output file: /tmp/espeak-talk.wav

  • Content: Speak the letters y j w c t j

  • Word gap: 60

  • Pitch: 70

  • Speed: 100

    # espeak "y j w c t j" -w /tmp/espeak-talk.wav -g 60  -p 70 -s 100

Other eSpeak Options

eSpeak supports text file input. Create /tmp/example.txt

# echo "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog." > /tmp/example.txt

Generate the WAV file.

# espeak -f /tmp/example.txt -w /tmp/example.wav

eSpeak supports different voices. List the installed voices.

# espeak --voices

Pty Language Age/Gender VoiceName          File          Other Languages

 5  af             M  afrikaans            other/af      

 5  an             M  aragonese            europe/an     

 5  bg             -  bulgarian            europe/bg     

 5  bs             M  bosnian              europe/bs     

 5  ca             M  catalan              europe/ca     

 5  cs             M  czech                europe/cs     


Use the -v parameter to generate an example audio file with the afrikaans voice.

# espeak -v af -f /tmp/example.txt -w /tmp/exampleaf.wav


See the eSpeak documentation for more information.

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