Google Text-To-Speech (TTS) on Linux

google_compespeak is one of the earliest TTS solutions on Linux. However, it’s dated and there is no substantial development or new voices for a while. We found a new TTS solution that uses Google’s speech synthesis system – Simple Google TTS. The tool can read a string or text file or standard input. It needs an internet connection to connect to the Google service. More than 100 languages are supported. Simple Google TTS can also work offline using pico2wave. This option supports only 5 languages though. There are some other limitations for using unofficial Google TTS API’s as well, e.g. CAPTCHA input for overly frequent requests.

Installation on Ubuntu

  • Install the dependencies
    $ sudo apt-get install xsel libnotify-bin libttspico0 libttspico-utils libttspico-data libwww-perl libwww-mechanize-perl libhtml-tree-perl sox libsox-fmt-mp3
  • Clone the Git repository
    $ git clone
  • The executable is simple-google-tts within the directory of the same name.


  • The command syntax is
    $ simple_google_tts  
  • Read a string in English
    $ simple_google_tts en "Hello World"
  • To read a file, use
    $ simple_google_tts en /path_to_file/readfile.txt
  • Two useful options:
    -p: use offline TTS (pico2wave) instead of Google's TTS system
    -g: activate gui notifications (via notify-send)

Webpage: Simple Google TTS

4 thoughts on “Google Text-To-Speech (TTS) on Linux”

  1. This application no longer works. I tried it and checking its error logs and by Googling for an answer, Google blocks this now. Sorry.

    1. The GitHub project seems to be alive (last activity from maintainer 24 days ago from today). Please raise a bug on the project page.


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