Voice control for handsfree computing

e6ebeb3 phrases: fix typo

~geb pushed to ~geb/numen git

22 hours ago

Martin Bartlett via public-inbox

5 days ago


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

A short demonstration can be found on: https://numenvoice.com

#Installation From Source

go (>=1.19) is required.

The speech recognition library and an english language model (about 40MB) can be installed with sudo ./install-vosk.sh. If this throws a 404 error, the Vosk team hasn't provided a binary for your architecture.

The standard mode requires the dotool command, which can be installed with sudo ./install-dotool.sh.

Finally, numen itself can be installed with sudo ./install-numen.sh.


The standard mode requires permission to /dev/uinput to create the virtual input device. This permission is granted to users in group input, which your user is likely in already.

If numen does complain about permission, you could give your user permission by running:
sudo ./install-user-udev-rule.sh

#Getting Started

Once you've got a microphone, you can run it with: numen
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 or saying "troll cap".

If nothing happened, you might need to specify the right microphone with the --mic option. See numen --list-mics for what's available.

The default phrases are in the /etc/numen/phrases/ directory and I'd start by looking at character.phrases with the alphabet and symbols, and control.phrases with the modifiers, backspace and friends. Have a go in your text editor.

#Going Further

Voice control makes an efficient keyboard but a wack mouse. At first I thought I'd need something like eye tracking, but now I just use keyboard based programs, which are thankfully the most productive kind of program. The main two are Neovim, my text editor, and qutebrowser, my web browser.

I've also made a desktop environment that works well with voice control, called tiles.


You can ask for help or send 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.

#Support Me

Thank you!


GPLv3 only, see LICENSE.

Copyright (c) 2022-2023 John Gebbie