Just wondering whether anyone has got a Text to Speech engine installed on the Pi?It would make a great addition to almost any programming project to make it talk to the user!


6 Answers 6


Yes it is possible; I saw a YouTube video of the Pi reading the news using festival.

Use the following command to install festival using Debian

$ sudo apt-get install festival festival-freebsoft-utils

To make it speak simply pipe it the text or file you want it to read, like so

echo  "Hello World"| festival --tts


  1. http://forums.debian.net/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=40548

You could install espeak:

$ sudo apt-get install espeak # For Debian
$ sudo pacman -S espeak # For Arch Linux

To make it speak:

$ espeak "Hello World" # Replace Hello World with your text, must be enclosed by ""
$ espeak -f <file> # Read out file <file>

flite is a cut-down version of festival which I have found to work very well on small ARM hosts.

  • Best option in my opinion, mainly because of it's focus on speed and few dependencies (it's also written in C!), +1.
    – syb0rg
    Commented Aug 7, 2013 at 5:10
  • English only, so eSpeak is still the winner for me...
    – avra
    Commented Feb 26, 2014 at 10:37

I'm not sure if you are looking for a premium solution, but Cepstral just released their Callie voice for use on the Raspberry Pi. You have to call them atm to get pricing info etc, but if you don't mind paying something, just wanted to put it out there as an option.



Acapela works quite well on similar devices. Not free, though.


You can always use googles API the drawback is that you need an internet connection but the result is probable the best you are going to get.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.