Voice control for handsfree computing

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6 days ago


Numen is voice control for computing without a keyboard or mouse, and works system-wide on your Linux machine.

There's a short demonstration on: https://numenvoice.com

#Install From Source

go is required. (It's sometimes packaged as golang)

The speech recognition library and an English model (about 40MB) can be installed with:

sudo ./install-vosk.sh && sudo ./install-model.sh

The dotool command which simulates the input, can be installed with:

sudo ./install-dotool.sh

Finally, numen itself can be installed with:

sudo ./install-numen.sh


dotool requires permission to /dev/uinput to create the virtual input devices, and a udev rule grants this to users in group input.

You could try:

echo type hello | dotool

and if need be, you can run:

sudo groupadd -f input
sudo usermod -a -G input $USER

and re-login and trigger the udev rule or just reboot.

#Getting Started

Once you've got a microphone, you can run it with:


There shouldn't be any output but you should be able to type "hey" by saying "hoof eve yank" and transcribe a sentence after saying "scribe". You can terminate it by pressing Ctrl+c which is "troll cap".

If nothing happened, check it's using the right audio device with:

timeout 5 numen --verbose --audiolog=me.wav
aplay me.wav

and specify a --mic from --list-mics if not.

Now you can have a go in your text editor, the default phrases are in the /etc/numen/phrases directory.

#Going Further

I use numen for all my computing and stick to keyboard-based programs like Neovim and qutebrowser, my text editor and browser. I also use a minimal desktop environment I wrote called Tiles that doesn't require a pointer device.

#Contact and Matrix Chat

You can send questions, thoughts or patches by composing an email to ~geb/public-inbox@lists.sr.ht.

You're also welcome to join our Matrix chat at #numen:matrix.org.

#See Also

  • Tiles - A minimal desktop environment suitable for voice control.
  • Hiccup - Noise input for playing games.

#Support Me

Thank you!


GPLv3 only, see LICENSE.

Copyright (c) 2022-2023 John Gebbie