natural sounding tts

Best Text to Speech Software for Linux in 2024

Whether you’re a tech enthusiast seeking to add voice capabilities to your projects, a content creator aiming to reach a broader audience, or an accessibility advocate championing inclusivity, Linux offers a treasure trove of TTS tools to amplify your impact.

In this blog, we embark on an odyssey through the finest TTS software available for Linux, unveiling their unique features, uncovering hidden gems, and equipping you with the knowledge to harness the full potential of speech synthesis on your Linux system. From command-line wizards to intuitive graphical interfaces, prepare to be captivated by the versatility and ingenuity of TTS software designed expressly for the Linux community.

Table of Contents

Setting Up Text to Speech on Linux

Before installing TTS software on Linux, it is important to ensure that your system meets the necessary prerequisites. These may include a working internet connection, administrative privileges for software installation, and compatibility with the chosen TTS engine or library. Additionally, it is advisable to review the documentation and system requirements provided by the TTS software developers to ensure compatibility with your Linux distribution.

Here is a step by step guide to installing TTS engines and libraries on your Linux system:

1. Research and select a TTS software: Explore available TTS engines and libraries compatible with your Linux system. Popular choices include eSpeak, Acapella, and Cepstral.

2. Install TTS software: Utilize your package manager (e.g., apt for Debian-based distributions, yum for CentOS/RHEL-based distributions) to install the chosen TTS software. For example, on Debian-based systems, you can use the command sudo apt install <package-name> to install TTS packages.

3. Verify installation: After installation, verify that the TTS software is successfully installed by checking for the presence of executable binaries and configuration files.

Configuration for Enabling TTS Functionality on Linux Distributions 

1. Configure TTS settings: Access the configuration files or settings panel of your Linux distribution to enable TTS functionality. This may involve specifying default TTS voices, adjusting speech rate and pitch settings, and configuring audio output devices.

2. Test TTS functionality: Utilize command-line tools or TTS-enabled applications to test the newly installed TTS software. Generate sample speech output to ensure that the TTS engine is functioning correctly and producing intelligible speech.

Troubleshooting Common Installation Issues

  • Dependency errors: Resolve dependency errors by installing missing packages or libraries required by the TTS software.

  • Configuration errors: Double-check configuration settings and file permissions to ensure proper integration of the TTS software with your Linux distribution.

  • Audio output issues: Troubleshoot audio output issues by verifying sound card configurations and checking system audio settings.

Customizing TTS Voices on Linux

Customizing text to speech voices on Linux adds a layer of personalization and adaptability to speech synthesis technology, allowing users to tailor their auditory experiences to their preferences and requirements. 

Here are a few methods to customize TTS voices on Linux:

1. Voice selection: Begin by selecting TTS voices that align with your preferences and intended use cases. Experiment with different voices to identify those that best suit your needs and resonate with your audience.

2. Voice modulation: Some TTS engines offer options to modify voice parameters such as pitch, speed, and intonation. Adjusting these parameters can enhance voice clarity and naturalness, resulting in more engaging speech output.

Tips for Enhancing Voice Quality and Naturalness

1. Use high-quality audio samples: When building custom voices, utilize high-quality audio recordings to capture the nuances of natural speech patterns and inflections.

2. Incorporate pronunciation rules: Ensure that TTS engines adhere to proper pronunciation rules and phonetic transcription guidelines to improve speech intelligibility and accuracy.

3. Fine-tune prosody and emphasis: Adjust prosodic features such as emphasis, rhythm, and stress to convey meaning and emotion effectively in synthesized speech.

Integrating TTS with Applications

1. Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML): SSML provides a standardized markup language for controlling aspects of speech synthesis, such as pronunciation, emphasis, and prosody. TTS engines that support SSML enable developers to fine-tune speech output according to specific requirements.

2. Text to speech APIs: Many TTS engines offer APIs that allow developers to programmatically generate speech output from text input. These APIs typically provide a straightforward interface for sending text data to the TTS engine and receiving synthesized speech in return.

3. Speech synthesis API: The Speech Synthesis API is a web standard that enables web developers to incorporate TTS functionality into web applications. Supported by modern web browsers, this API allows developers to create accessible and interactive web experiences with synthesized speech.

Five Linux Text to Speech Software

Here are the top TTS software for Linux:


Acapela is a popular TTS software known for its high-quality and natural-sounding speech synthesis in over 30 languages and 120 voices. While primarily developed for various platforms, including Windows and macOS, Acapela offers solutions for Linux users as well. Its Linux version provides a wide range of voices in multiple languages, enabling users to create engaging audio content, assistive technologies, and interactive applications.

Acapela’s TTS engine integrates seamlessly with Linux environments, offering advanced customization options for voice modulation, pronunciation, and prosody. With its extensive language support and robust performance, Acapela stands out as a versatile TTS solution for Linux users seeking premium speech synthesis capabilities.


Speechelo is a user-friendly TTS software designed to simplify the process of generating high-quality speech output from text. While primarily marketed towards content creators and marketers, Speechelo offers compatibility with Linux systems through web-based interfaces and desktop applications. Its unique selling point lies in its ability to create lifelike voiceovers with natural intonation and emotion, enhancing the engagement and impact of audiovisual content.

It offers over 30 human-sounding voices that work in over 24 languages. Speechelo’s intuitive interface and diverse range of voice options make it a popular choice among Linux users seeking efficient and professional-grade TTS solutions for multimedia projects, elearning modules, and promotional materials.


Cepstral is a versatile TTS engine recognized for its exceptional voice quality and seamless integration with Linux distributions. Unlike some other TTS solutions, Cepstral boasts a proprietary speech synthesis technology that delivers clear, expressive, and human-like speech output across various applications and platforms. Users can freely trial Cepstral’s high-quality text to speech voices via the internet.

With a selection of six distinct U.S. English voices and additional options for UK English, Spanish, French, Italian, and German, Cepstral caters to diverse linguistic needs. Notably, Cepstral natural sounding voices adhere to SAPI 5 compliance standards. Its lightweight and efficient development tools make it well-suited for resource-constrained Linux environments, ensuring optimal performance without compromising on voice quality or customization capabilities.


eSpeak is an open-source TTS engine specifically developed for Linux and other Unix-like operating systems. As a compact and lightweight solution, eSpeak NG offers basic speech synthesis functionality with support for 50+ languages and pronunciation rules. Its simplicity and ease of use make it an attractive choice for Linux users to install eSpeak NG and get a straightforward TTS solution for basic text to speech conversion tasks, command-line utilities, and accessibility features.

While eSpeak may not offer the advanced customization options or premium voice quality of some commercial TTS engines, its open-source nature and extensive language support make it a valuable addition to the Linux software ecosystem. 


Festival is a comprehensive TTS system developed by the University of Edinburgh, offering extensive support for Linux and other Unix-based platforms. Festival distinguishes itself with its modular architecture and flexible design, allowing users to customize and extend its functionality through a variety of plugins, language models, and voice synthesis techniques. It currently supports five languages (British English, American English, Spanish, Czech and Italian) with many languages in the prototype mode.

With its powerful scripting capabilities and extensive documentation, Festival is well-suited for advanced users, researchers, and developers seeking to explore the depths of speech synthesis technology on Linux. Despite its steep learning curve, Festival remains a popular choice among Linux enthusiasts and academics for its robustness, extensibility, and support for cutting-edge research in TTS and natural language processing.

Summing Up

Text to speech technology plays a pivotal role in enhancing accessibility and usability for users with disabilities within the Linux ecosystem. TTS accessibility features empower individuals with visual impairments, learning disabilities, and motor impairments to access digital content, navigate user interfaces, and engage with technology more independently. By providing auditory feedback and alternative modes of interaction, TTS enables inclusivity and equal access to information and communication tools for all users.

Ongoing developments and advancements in TTS for Linux signify a commitment to improving speech synthesis capabilities and expanding the range of applications and use cases. From advancements in voice quality and naturalness to innovations in multilingual support and domain-specific applications, TTS technology continues to evolve to meet the diverse needs and preferences of users across different contexts and environments.


What is text to speech (TTS) software for Linux?

Text to speech (TTS) for Linux refers to software applications or libraries designed to convert written text into spoken words on the Linux operating system. These tools enable users to listen to text-based content such as documents, web pages, or e-books instead of reading them, providing accessibility options for individuals with visual impairments and enhancing user experiences in various applications.

How does TTS software work on Linux platforms?

TTS software on Linux processes textual input using algorithms that analyze linguistic elements. It then generates corresponding speech signals, which are outputted through audio devices, enabling users to hear the synthesized speech. Users can opt for any tool or other Linux distribution to get the TTS installed.

How to convert text to speech in Linux?

To convert text to speech in Linux, users can install and configure TTS software, then utilize command-line tools or integrate TTS functionality into applications to generate speech output from text input. The speech synthesizer and command-line program convert the text to English or other languages as per user requirements. 

Can I customize the voice in TTS on Linux?

Yes, many TTS software options for Linux offer voice customization features. Users can often modify parameters such as pitch, speed, and intonation to tailor the voice to their preferences. 

Which Linux distributions support TTS software?

Most mainstream Linux distributions support TTS software, including Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, CentOS, and Arch Linux, among others. Users can install TTS software packages from their distribution’s package repositories.

What file formats does TTS software on Linux support?

TTS software on Linux typically supports a variety of file formats for textual input, including plain text files (.txt), rich text format (.rtf), and markup languages such as HTML and XML. On some platforms, audio files can also be used as the final output under TTS.

Can TTS software handle multiple languages on Linux?

Yes, many TTS software options for Linux support multiple languages and offer a diverse selection of voices in various languages and dialects. Some platforms also support real-time translations as users speak text. 

Is there support for real-time TTS on Linux?

Yes, some TTS software options for Linux offer real-time synthesis capabilities, enabling immediate conversion of text input into speech output with minimal latency. It depends on the text to speech software. 

What are the accessibility features of TTS on Linux?

TTS on Linux enhances accessibility by providing auditory feedback, enabling users with visual impairments or reading difficulties to access digital content, navigate interfaces, and interact with applications effectively. It also supports features like screen readers and voice commands, further improving accessibility for users with disabilities. It converts text to audio in various formats, like MP3 and WAV files, in the supported languages with command line options.