espeakup(8) connect Speakup to the ESpeak TTS engine


espeakup [ --default-voice=voicename ] [ --debug ] [ --help ] [ --version ]


-V voicename, --default-voice=voicename
Set the espeak voice to be used by default.
-d, --debug
run in the foreground, rather than becoming a daemon process.
-h, --help
display a brief help message and exit.
-v, --version
output version information and exit.


Espeakup bridges the gap between two tools: the Speakup screen review system and the ESppeak text-to-speech engine. Each of these tools performs a well-defined task. Speakup is a kernel-based screen reader for the Linux console. It extracts and processes the text that is displayed on the foreground virtual console. It supports several hardware based speech synthesizers directly. However, since it is in kernel space, it cannot support a software speech synthesizer directly since these are in user space. ESpeak is a popular software speech synthesizer. It is small, light weight, very responsive, and supports multiple languages. Espeakup is a connector which will read text sent to it by speakup and forward it to ESpeak. This allows Speakup to use ESpeak as its speech synthesizer.

Espeakup is a daemon. Typically, it is started at boot time, and it terminates when the system is halted or rebooted. It should be started by the system's init scripts. This process varies among Linux distributions, but the details are usually managed by the person who packaged Espeakup for your distribution. From the perspective of an average user, Espeakup's operation is invisible.


Espeakup is still classified as alpha software. Bugs are periodically found and fixed. If you find a bug, please do report it to the author. You might also consider mentioning it on the mailing list for the Speakup screenreader. Visit to learn more about the mailing list.


William Hubbs is the author and maintainer of Espeakup. He may be reached via the email address <[email protected]>. This manual page was written by Chris Brannon, and his email address is <[email protected]>.