Software Install Guide

There are three ways to install Jasper on your Raspberry Pi.

Method 1: Quick Start (Recommended)

The quickest way to get up and running with Jasper is to download the pre-compiled disk image available here for Model B. There is also an unofficial image for the B+ available here. After imaging your SD card, clone the repository and install the Python dependencies as described in Install Jasper. Then, skip to Configuration.

If you want to understand how all of the supporting libraries are compiled on the Raspberry Pi, Method 3 may be to your liking (or, at the very least, helpful for debugging).

Method 2: Installation via Package Manger


Unfortunately, there are currently no packages available for Debian or Raspbian. Please use Method 3.


If you’re using ArchLinux, there are packages available in the Arch User Repository. To install them:

yaourt -S jasper-voice-control-git
yaourt -S jasper-plugins

You’ll also need a Text-to-Speech (TTS) and a Speech-to-Text (STT) engine. Check out the configuration section to learn what STT/TTS engines are and what you need to do to use them.

After you’ve done that, you can start Jasper as a systemd service:

sudo systemctl start jasper-voice-control

If the systemd service keeps failing, your audio device might already be in use by MPD, Pulseaudio, your Desktop Environment or some other process. In this case, start Jasper as your current user:

mkdir -p ~/.jasper
cp -r /var/lib/jasper/.jasper/profile.yml ~/.jasper

Method 3: Manual Installation

Follow these instructions only if you wish to compile your Jasper software from scratch. These steps are unnecessary if you follow the recommended “Quick Start” instructions above.

Burn Raspbian image onto SD card

We’ll first clear the SD card using GParted on Ubuntu, but you can use an equivalent utility or operating system. In GParted: right-click on each partition of the SD card, then select ‘Unmount’ and ‘Delete’. Apply the changes with Edit > Apply All Operations.

Download Raspbian Wheezy from While we’ve tested Jasper on the 2014-01-07 release, newer releases may also work.

We’ll use dd to burn the image to the disk. Obtain the address of the SD card with:

sudo fdisk -l

Our address was ‘/dev/mmcblk0’, so the following command burns the image to the disk:

sudo dd if=2013-12-20-wheezy-raspbian.img of=/dev/mmcblk0 bs=2M

When it’s done, remove your SD card, insert it into your Raspberry Pi and connect it to your computer via ethernet.

Configure Raspbian

We’re now going to do some basic housekeeping and install some of the required libraries. You should SSH into your Pi with a command similar to the following. The IP address usually falls in the range.

ssh pi@ # password (default): raspberry

Run the following, select to ‘Expand Filesystem’ and restart your Pi:

sudo raspi-config

Run the following commands to update Pi and install some useful tools.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade --yes
sudo apt-get install nano git-core python-dev bison libasound2-dev libportaudio-dev python-pyaudio --yes
sudo apt-get remove python-pip
sudo easy_install pip

Plug in your USB microphone. Let’s create an ALSA configuration file:

sudo nano /lib/modprobe.d/jasper.conf

Add the following lines:

# Load USB audio before the internal soundcard
options snd_usb_audio index=0
options snd_bcm2835 index=1

# Make sure the sound cards are ordered the correct way in ALSA
options snd slots=snd_usb_audio,snd_bcm2835

Back in the shell, restart your Pi:

sudo shutdown -r now

Next, test that recording works (you may need to restart your Pi) by recording some audio with the following command:

arecord temp.wav

Make sure you have speakers or headphones connected to the audio jack of your Pi. You can play back the recorded file:

aplay -D hw:1,0 temp.wav

Add the following line to the end of ~/.bash_profile (you may need to run touch ~/.bash_profile if the file doesn’t exist already):

export LD_LIBRARY_PATH="/usr/local/lib"
source .bashrc

And this to your ~/.bashrc or ~/.bash_profile:

export PATH

With that, we’re ready to install Jasper.

Install Jasper

In the home directory of your Pi, clone the Jasper source code:

git clone jasper

Jasper requires various Python libraries that we can install in one line with:

sudo pip install --upgrade setuptools
sudo pip install -r jasper/client/requirements.txt

Sometimes it might be neccessary to make executable:

chmod +x jasper/

You’ve now installed the Jasper core software. If you’re following Method I (Quick Start), continue with Configuration. Otherwise, continue with the dependency installation below.

Installing dependencies

To be able to understand what you say, Jasper still needs a Speech-to-Text (STT) engine. Jasper also needs a Text-to-Speech (TTS) engine to answer to your commands. Jasper aims to be modular and thus gives you the choice which STT/TTS engine you want to use. Depending on your choice, it may be required to install additional software.

Head over to the Configuration section. During configuration, you’ll learn what STT/TTS engines are and chose your flavour. You can then come back here and install the required dependencies for the STT/TTS engine of your choice (if neccessary).

Install Dependencies for PocketSphinx STT engine

Note: Installing pocketsphinx will take quite some time because you need to compile some stuff from source.

Jasper can use PocketSphinx for voice recognition. If you want to use Pocketsphinx as STT Engine, you’ll have to install:

  • sphinxbase & pocketsphinx
  • MIT Language Modeling Toolkit
  • m2m-aligner
  • OpenFST & Phonetisaurus

If you’re using ArchLinux, you’re lucky: Just install the according AUR package and you’re done:

yaourt -S jasper-stt-pocketsphinx

Everyone else needs to install the above tools manually:

Installing Sphinxbase/Pocketsphinx

First, you need to install Pocketsphinx. If you’re using Debian Sid (unstable) or Jessie (testing), you can just do:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install pocketsphinx python-pocketsphinx

If you’re not using Debian Sid/Jessie, you need to compile and install them from source:

tar -zxvf sphinxbase-0.8.tar.gz
cd ~/sphinxbase-0.8/
./configure --enable-fixed
sudo make install
tar -zxvf pocketsphinx-0.8.tar.gz
cd ~/pocketsphinx-0.8/
sudo make install
cd ..
sudo easy_install pocketsphinx

Installing CMUCLMTK

Begin by installing some dependencies:

sudo apt-get install subversion autoconf libtool automake gfortran g++ --yes

Next, move into your home (or Jasper) directory to check out and install CMUCLMTK:

svn co
cd cmuclmtk/
./ && make && sudo make install
cd ..

Then, when you’ve left the CMUCLTK directory, download the following libraries:

Installing Phonetisaurus, m2m-aligner and MITLM

To use the Pocketsphinx STT engine, you also need to install MIT Language Modeling Toolkit, m2m-aligner and Phonetisaurus (and thus OpenFST).

On Debian, you can install these from the experimental repository:

sudo su -c "echo 'deb experimental main contrib non-free' > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/experimental.list"
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get -t experimental install phonetisaurus m2m-aligner mitlm libfst-tools

If you’re not using Debian, perform these steps:


Untar the downloads:

tar -xvf m2m-aligner-1.2.tar.gz
tar -xvf openfst-1.3.4.tar.gz
tar -xvf is2013-conversion.tgz
tar -xvf mitlm_0.4.1.tar.gz

Build OpenFST:

cd openfst-1.3.4/
sudo ./configure --enable-compact-fsts --enable-const-fsts --enable-far --enable-lookahead-fsts --enable-pdt
sudo make install # come back after a really long time

Build M2M:

cd m2m-aligner-1.2/
sudo make


cd mitlm-0.4.1/
sudo ./configure
sudo make install

Build Phonetisaurus:

cd is2013-conversion/phonetisaurus/src
sudo make

Move some of the compiled files:

sudo cp ~/m2m-aligner-1.2/m2m-aligner /usr/local/bin/m2m-aligner
sudo cp ~/is2013-conversion/bin/phonetisaurus-g2p /usr/local/bin/phonetisaurus-g2p

Building the Phonetisaurus FST model

tar -xvf g014b2b.tgz

Build Phonetisaurus model:

cd g014b2b/
cd ..

Finally, rename the following folder for convenience:

mv ~/g014b2b ~/phonetisaurus

Once the installations are complete, restart your Pi.

At this point, we’ve installed Jasper and all the necessary software to run it. Before we start playing around, though, we need to configure Jasper and provide it with some basic information.

Install Dependencies for Julius STT engine

On Arch Linux, install julius from the [community] repo:

sudo pacman -S julius

If you’re not using ArchLinux, you need to compile Julius manually.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install build-essential zlib1g-dev flex libasound2-dev libesd0-dev libsndfile1-dev

Then, download the Julius source tarball and extract it to ~/julius.

cd ~/julius
./configure --enable-words-int
sudo make install

Please note that you also need an acoustic model and a lexicon..

Install Dependencies for eSpeak TTS engine

On Arch Linux, install jasper-tts-espeak from the AUR:

yaourt -S jasper-tts-espeak

On Debian, install the espeak package:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install espeak

Install Dependencies for Festival TTS engine

On Arch Linux, install jasper-tts-festival from the AUR:

yaourt -S jasper-tts-festival

On Debian, install festival and festvox-don:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install festival festvox-don

Install Dependencies for Flite TTS engine

On Arch Linux, install jasper-tts-flite from the AUR:

yaourt -S jasper-tts-flite

On Debian, install flite:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install flite

Install Dependencies for SVOX Pico TTS engine

On Arch Linux, install jasper-tts-pico from the AUR:

yaourt -S jasper-tts-pico

On Debian, you need to install libttspico-utils:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install libttspico-utils

Install Dependencies for Google TTS engine

On Arch Linux, install jasper-tts-google from the AUR:

yaourt -S jasper-tts-google

On Debian, you need to install python-pymad via APT and gTTS via PIP:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install python-pymad
sudo pip install --upgrade gTTS

Install Dependencies for Ivona TTS engine

On Arch Linux, install jasper-tts-ivona from the AUR:

yaourt -S jasper-tts-ivona

On Debian, you need to install python-pymad via APT and pyvona via PIP:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install python-pymad
sudo pip install --upgrade pyvona

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